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International Student Careers

Immigration: F1 and J1 Work Authorization


Any internship, whether paid or unpaid, requires work authorization. You need a job offer for a job related to your major to apply for work authorization. The internship must be integral to your plan of study and can be full-time or part-time during the summer or academic year, but it is generally not authorized during your final semester. Please visit International Student and Scholars (ISS) to apply. Learn more by clicking the links below:

Post-Graduate Employment

As an international student on F1 or J1 visa, you can work in the U.S. after graduation with work authorization. To apply for work authorization, please visit International Students and Scholars (ISS). Learn more by clicking the links below:

  • J1 - Academic Training (AT) – You can receive work authorization for up to 18 months. You will need an offer of employment to apply.
  • F1 - Optional Practical Training (OPT)You can receive work authorization for up to 12 months. An offer of employment is not required to apply, but you must apply 90 days in advance. It takes around 3 months to get approved from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • F1 - STEM OPT ExtensionStudents on OPT with a designated STEM major can apply to extend their work authorization for up to 24 months under ‘STEM Extension’ (STEM OPT). If you graduate from one of the MS programs listed below, you must apply for a STEM extension one month before the expiration date of the current OPT period and as early as 90 days before the expiration date.
  • *Krannert STEM OPT Approved Majors and Programs Include:
    • MS Business Analytics and Information Management (BAIM)
    • MS Finance
    • MS Global Supply Chain Management
    • MS Marketing

*As this is subject to change, please verify whether your major or program qualifies for STEM OPT by checking the CIP code on your I-20: Verify online here


Once your work authorization under J1 or F1 visa is set to expire, you will need sponsorship from your employer to continue working in the U.S. For sponsorship, you will need to work with your employer to apply. For more guidance, you may consult an immigration attorney.


U.S. Job Search Resources

Check out the following websites to help you navigate the U.S. job search process and identify employers who hire international students:

  • Purdue CCO - U.S. Job Search: Visit the Purdue Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) website to learn more about preparing for a job search in the U.S.
  • Purdue Libraries: Career Research Portal (CRP): A comprehensive online career resource that supports job and interview seekers through the various phases of the search process
  • Handshake: All Krannert students have access to Handshake, a college student job search platform. Use job search filters: ‘Hires International Students’, ‘Accepts OPT/CPT’ and/or ‘Willing to Sponsor’
  • E-Verify: Search for employers that provide work authorization and sponsorship
  • United OPT: Top companies offering OPT jobs to international students 2021
  • OPT Nation: Top companies hiring international students on OPT
  • My Visa Jobs: You can find H-1B Visa and Green Card sponsorship trends by employers, industry, job title, and occupations as well as view the Top 100 Employers who offer visa sponsorship.
  • GoinGlobal: Search for companies that have applied for H1B visas.
  • H-1B Employer Data Hub: U.S. CIS database of employers petitioning for H-1B

Common U.S. Job Application Questions

 “Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.?”

  • If you are approved for CPT, OPT, STEM OPT, or AT (see above), the answer is ‘Yes’.

“Do you require sponsorship now or in the future?”

  • If you need sponsorship when your CPT/OPT/AT period ends, the answer is ‘Yes’.

English Language Resources at Purdue

English proficiency is important for landing a job in the U.S. Take advantage of these on-campus and off-campus resources to help expand your English language skills:

Get Involved: Join a Student Club

Getting involved on campus is a great way to build your resume. Join a student club to meet new friends and build soft-skills (such as leadership skills). Find a list of the various student clubs below:

Learn more about U.S. Work Culture and Cultural Differences in the Work Place

Understanding the U.S. culture can help you connect with recruiters and be more successful during interviews and when working in the U.S. workforce. Each country has their own set of ‘rules’ for doing business. Check out the following links to learn about U.S. work culture:  


International Job Search Resources

Visit the following websites to help you prepare and apply to jobs outside of the U.S.:

  • Purdue CCO- Global Jobs Page: Visit the Purdue Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) for international job search resources
  • Purdue International Jobs Portal: CCO utilizes GradConnection, an international job search platform, to help facilitate your international job search. Here you can search through hundreds of international internships and jobs by discipline and country of citizenship.
  • GoinGlobal Country Guides: They also provide helpful tips on writing resumes and interviewing for different countries under country guides.
  • Worldwide Indeed: Indeed job search focusing on international jobs
  • Purdue for Life: Network with alumni around the world