It is essential for you to become knowledgeable about the immigration laws and regulations that affect your employment eligibility when seeking employment in the U.S. Verify your employment status and eligibility based on your visa.

The more you are familiar with these regulations, the better able you will be to discuss your options with a prospective employer.

Do not interpret this information as legal advice. Use it to increase your understanding of the issues.


  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides authoritative information on visas and work authorization.
  • The Virginia Tech Graduate School offers a number of services and resources for international students.
  • Cranwell International Center
    Serves as the primary support service for the international community. Please navigate the Cranwell website and read the information provided by Cranwell on topics including:
    • Immigration regulations
    • Terms
    • J Visa Holders
    • F Visa Holders
    • On- and Off-Campus Employment
    • Optional Practical Training
    • Curricular Practical Training
    • Much More!
    The regulations and responsibilities are quite detailed, and the Cranwell International Center is your authority to consult for information and questions.

No doubt you have your own networking contacts in your home country, and perhaps elsewhere. These are some online resources you may find useful, in addition to your current resources.

  • Goin Global
    For currently enrolled VT student and VT employees only. Includes H-1B info.
  • International Job Opportunities
    Very comprehensive list of web sites and advice.
  • Websites With International Opportunities
    A list compiled by Career and Professional Development based on recommendations and research.

American cultural attitudes and behaviors related to job hunting and work may be quite different from those of your home country. Be aware of cultural issues that will influence your success in your job search.


  1. You will need to become familiar with U.S. practices regarding resumes, correspondence (both hard copy and email), interviewing, and handshakes.
    For complete coverage of these topics, see our guides.
  2. Notice that if you use Hokies4Hire and the On-Campus Interviewing Program, employers will indicate required work authorization. These are non-negotiable.
  1. Generally, international students will need to place more emphasis on:
    • Research to determine which employers can legally hire students with your work authorization.
      Research tool: Goin Global
    • Networking to find contacts.
  2. Employment for international students in the U.S. is not promised or guaranteed to anyone.
  3. English language skills matter.
  4. You must bridge the cultural gap to sell yourself.
  5. Employers hire internationals for technical skills, language and cultural skills, affinity, loyalty.

Where opportunity is not:

  • Direct head-to-head competition with domestics when you have no edge.
  • Announced opening (drawing hundreds or thousands of applicants).
  • On-campus recruiters who do not want to interview foreign nationals. Notice that if you use Hokies4Hire and the On-Campus Interviewing Program, employers will indicate required work authorization. These are non-negotiable. While you may find some opportunities open based on your work authorization and your other qualifications, you should not expect that all employers can grant you an interview, and you must be honest about your work authorization.

Where opportunity is:

  • Networking.
  • Hidden job market.
  • Exporters to your country.
  • U.S. companies active in your language region or doing business in your home country.
  • Others from your home country who are officers or owners of companies.
  • Others from your home country who have jobs in the U.S.
  • Former international students with jobs in the U.S.
  • Smaller companies.
  • Companies in rural areas that are exporting.
  • Your home country consulate.
  • International job fairs.