Information for Employers

Information for Employers

Employing international students can feel like an overwhelming and complex task. With the help of these guidelines, we hope to assist you in the hiring process of our F1 international students. International students have specific guidelines that they must follow relative to their F1 visa and immigration statuses. Below is the recommended steps for hiring international students. If you have any questions regarding these steps, please feel free to call the Center for Multicultural Affairs at 701-483-2599. 

DSU building exterior flowersGuidelines for Hiring International Students

The recommended guidelines for hiring international students:

  • The student will first need to complete an interview with your organization and you will decide if she/he is the right fit for the position.  
  • If you decide to hire the student, you will need to provide the student with an employment offer letter and job description.
    • The employment offer letter should give the student an adequate timeline (usually a week) to provide the necessary documentation to prove eligibility of employment.
    • The student cannot begin work or training until they provide you with Department of Homeland Security documentation in the form of an EAD or the 3rd page of their I-20 with your businesses name on it. 
  • The student will present you with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Social Security Card so that you may make copies and place them in their employee file. The EAD should have dates located at the bottom of the card that are current. See section on reading EAD cards.
          • OR 
  • The student will return to DSU with the offer letter and job description and meet with a representative in the Center for Multicultural Affairs to pick-up a CPT authorization packet. 
    • The student will then meet with their academic adviser and retrieve the necessary signatures.
    • The student will return to the Center for Multicultural Affairs with the completed forms and a Designated School Official will make them a new 3rd page of their I-20 document. The student will receive 2 copies of the 3rd page, 1 they will keep and 1 will be presented to you as authorization from DHS. The student will also need to present you with a social security card. Some students may have to apply for the social security card, but they can begin working while waiting for the processing of their card from the Social Security Administration.
      • Students may only work within the dates of the I-20. Once the dates expire, students must renew their CPT before continuing employment. It is helpful to remind your employee of upcoming expiration dates on their I-20, but ultimately it is the student's responsibility to renew their CPT before they reach their expiration date.
  • After you have received the student's documents allowing them to begin employment, you may begin your individual process of officially hiring the student and filling out the I-9. Click here for help completing the I-9.


The Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Students receive an Employment Authorization Document for a variety of reasons. This document allows the student to work off-campus for a minimum of 1 year. There are several areas of the card that you should be concerned with. The EAD looks similar to the passport card issued to American citizens. On the bottom of the card are the dates the card is valid through. For instance, the dates could be from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. Below is a pdf that highlights areas of concern on the card.

Employment Authorization Document

The 3rd page of the I-20 Document

Students are issued a form I-20 in order to track the student throughout their time in the United States. Students use the I-20 to secure an embassy interview and obtain a visa. Once in the United States, students use the I-20 as a proof of eligibility to be in the United States and to represent information regarding their programs of study as well as an work authorizations. Page 1 of the I-20 has the student's basic information (i.e. first name, middle name, last name, date of birth, program of study, program start and end dates, issuing school, etc.). Page 2 of the I-20 has important information for the student regarding their immigration rules and regulations. Page of 3 of the I-20 has sections for authorizing student's to drop below full-time, withdrawal information, or work authorization. For general information regarding F1 student visas please visit  Below is a pdf that highlights areas of concern on the I-20.

F1 Student I-20 Document

Keep in mind:

  • Students may not work in excess of 20 hours per week when school is in session.
  • Students may work in excess of 20 hours per week during breaks of no less than 1 week.
  • Students may work in excess of 20 hours per week between semester sessions (fall to spring and spring to fall).
  • Employers should not have F1 students began training, paid or unpaid, before they receive documentation of proof of eligibility to work.
  • Employers who hire international students before they have DHS authorization risk receiving sanctions from state and federal agencies.
  • Employers who discriminate against applicants based on national origin could face sanctions from the EEOC.
    • Under no circumstances will DSU provide an employer with a student's employment status before they have offered the student a position.
  • Students who work in excess of 20 hours per week or work before they have authorization risk falling out of student status and risk potential deportation.