International Students: Interested in Working in the U.S.? Do You Require Work Authorization or Employer Sponsorship?

Dreama Johnson

U.S. Authorization Optional Employers in Handshake and at UVA Career Fairs

Are you an international student at the University interested in working in the United States and will require company sponsorship?  If this is you, going to a career fair and searching Handshake for jobs can be frustrating at times because you may not be sure which companies are open to hiring international students. In Handshake you now have the opportunity to sort companies who attend career fairs at UVA or post jobs/internships by whether or not they are willing to consider international applicants.  The search category used in Handshake is "Work Authorization" with two possible filters within this category:

  • "Accepts OPT/CPT" meaning the employer is open to considering applicants who have access to Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • "Will sponsor or doesn't require US work visa" which means the employers is willing to file a petition to sponsor your work visa after you have used your eligible OPT

Additionally, we would encourage you to speak with companies that may be of interest who do not come up in your search, as we have seen some employers make exceptions in the past.  Remember the tool below is a great way to get started, but should not be viewed as comprehensive.  As you begin to apply for opportunities in Handshake, be sure to complete the On-Grounds Interviewing Orientation, for access to all opportunities. 

Instructions for Career Fairs (see first image below):

  1. Log into Handshake and select the "Events" tab at the top
  2. Select the “Career Fairs” filter
  3. Click into your career fair of interest
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the event to "View All Employers"
  5. A new page will open and select "All filters" and filer by "Accepts OPT/CPT" and/or "Will sponsor or doesn't require US work visa"

Instructions for Jobs/Internships in Handshake (see second image below):

  1. Log into Handshake and select the "Jobs" tab at the top
  2. Select “All filters” at the bottom of the filter options
  3. Scroll down to find the category Work authorization and then filer by "Accepts OPT/CPT" and/or "Will sponsor or doesn't require US work visa"

Please note that these searches are not comprehensive and there have been exceptions in the past.

Make sure to...