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International students are an essential addition to any company wishing to remain competitive in an increasingly Global marketplace. At CCS, they represent 6% of the Undergraduate student population and 64% of the Graduate student population and come from more than 22 countries. This is a pool of extremely talented, and highly sought professionals you should not overlook.


 International students possess qualities that top employers seek:

  • Global perspectives- International students see themselves as citizens, designers, and consumers of the world- offering a broad perspective and when applied to the project or problem offers -vision, and innovation.
  • Diverse viewpoints and experiences- The ability to interact and collaborate in a diverse environment is critical to success, and growth in the workplace.
  • Multilingual and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Effective leadership and teamwork skills
  • Strong ability to adapt to changes
  • Ingenuity and innovation


CCS Guide to Hiring International Students

Hiring an international student is not as difficult as you may think! There are many work authorization options listed below, that require very little involvement, and no cost to the employer. CCS international students are aware of these options and initially drive the application process. Should you have any questions, our International Student Services Office is available and is happy to help!


Student Visas

CCS international students that are neither U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents enroll at CCS under one of two non-immigrant student immigration statuses, F-1 or J-1.

F-1 Visas: The majority of international students at CCS attend on an F-1 student Visa. This Visa is used for degree seeking students, both Undergraduate and Graduate levels and there are several employment Authorization options available during, and preceding their degree programs.

J-1 Visas: CCS has a small number of Exchange Visitor students from partner institutions around the world. These students are sponsored on J-1 Visas. There is one type of employment Authorization option available to them during, and preceding their Exchange program.

F-1 Visa Employment


Hiring an F-1 International Student for an Internship

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 student status to accept employment in their academic field after one year (2 consecutive academic terms) of full-time study.  Internship programs are some of the most common types of employment for international students.

Important Points:

  • There is no cost to the employer.
  • Processing time is approximately 2 weeks.
  • Students may not begin their internship without authorization.
  • Students may participate in full-time or part-time internships.
  • Students must remain enrolled as full-time students during the academic year (Fall & Winter).
  • Students do not need to be enrolled at CCS during the summer session (May-September) And therefore can work full time without conflict.
  • CPT is date-specific and should closely align to the CCS Academic Calendar.
  • Students receive academic credit for internships and must be enrolled in a CCS internship course.
  • 12 months of full-time CPT eliminates eligibility for OPT.
  • Part-time CPT employment does not affect eligibility for OPT.
  • Applying for CPT is the responsibility of the student.
  • The authorization is processed through the CCS International Office
  • The Employer should provide a job offer letter to the student listing the job title, company address, supervisor contact, and employment dates.
  • The student will present the employer with an Internship Site Information Form which must be completed and filed with CCS.

Full-Time Employment

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 Visa status students who have recently graduated to gain practical work experience related to their major field of study for up to one year.

Important Information:

  • OPT is granted for 12 months.
  • Students are issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS upon approval.
  • Students may not work until the EAD card is received.
  • The application process is solely the responsibility of the student and therefore requires no action or cost on the part of the employer.
  • Students begin the OPT application in February prior to their May Graduation or October prior to a December Graduation.
  • OPT can be granted to the student with or without an offer of employment.
  • The CCS international student services processes the OPT request to USCIS, and assists the student with their application.
  • The USCIS processing time for OPT takes 3-5 months and can vary from year to year.
  • There is an application fee to the student.

STEM OPT Extensions:

An additional 24 months of OPT work authorization allows F-1 Visa student status holders who have graduated with a degree in a STEM field to gain extra practical work experience related to their program of study.

The following programs at CCS qualify for STEM OPT:

Transportation Design BFA & MFA , Product Design BFA, Communication Design BFA, Interaction Design MFA, Entertainment Arts BFA, and Systems Design Thinking MFA.

Important Information:

  • Students must apply for the STEM extension prior to their OPT end date
  • The Employer must be enrolled and in good standing with E-Verify.
  • The student submits the completed I-983 training plan in coordination with the Employer to the CCS International Student Services Office.
  • USCIS issues another Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to the student.
  • The Employer should be prepared for a government agent work site visit to verify STEM OPT program requirements are being met.
  • There is no cost to the employer.
  • There is a fee to the student.
  • The international student services office assists students with the STEM OPT extension application, and extension request to USCIS.
  • Students may continue working while their extension application is pending as long as they applied for the extension in a timely manner.

Long-term Employment

Many Visa types exist for long-term employment of International Students.

The most common is the H-1B Visa.

Applications for H-1Bs are submitted to the USCIS by the sponsoring Employer on behalf of the international employee.  Many companies find that retaining an experienced immigration attorney is helpful to facilitate the process. The CCS international Office does not advise companies on H-1B Visas.

Important Points:

  • H-1B status is initially granted for up to three years but can be renewed for a total of six years.
  • The employer is responsible for filing the H-1B petition on behalf of the international employee.
  • After Filing in March: USCIS will conduct a lottery of all registrations received and will notify petitioners which beneficiaries have been selected. The petitioner will then have a 90-day period beginning April 1 to file a complete H-1B petition on behalf of its selected beneficiaries.
  • Students on OPT that have timely filed petitions should be able to continue to work on OPT until September 30th. The H-1B status begins on October 1st each year. This bridging of the gap is called CAPGAP.

Other Work Visas:

For a list of all US Visas please visit:

TN-1 status: CCS International Students from Canada or Mexico may be eligible for the TN-1 Visa.

Important Points:

  • The Employer should provide a letter to the student detailing items such as the professional capacity in which the student will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, and educational qualifications.
  • The CCS international office does not process TN Visa paperwork.
  • This Visa is valid for up to three years.
  • The Student should follow the step outlined on this website:

J-1 Visa Employment

For employers wishing to hire a J-1 status holder, the process is fairly simple. The J-1 student obtains authorization for Academic Training through the CCS International Office. Depending on their CCS Exchange program, the duration available for employment will vary.

  • One semester (Fall or Winter) students are allowed four (4) months of Academic Training after the semester is completed.
  • Two-semester students (Fall and Spring) are eligible for a total of eight (8) months of Academic Training.

Important points:

  • It is the sole responsibility of the student to complete the application process through the International Student Services Office at CCS, as well as the Career Development office.
  • The Employer will issue a Job offer letter to the student with specific details.
  • The student will request from the Employer, a site Information form to be filed with CCS.
  • The work must be directly related to the academic degree program.
  • There is no fee for J-1 Visa Academic Training.
  • Some exchange visitors with J-1 visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement. It requires you to return home for at least two years after your exchange visitor program.