Sharing Your Immigration Status
Below are questions we often hear from international students who want to work in the U.S. after graduation.
Can employers limit their interviewing and hiring to U.S. citizens?
Sometimes, if citizenship is deemed to be an essential part of the position. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has some helpful information on this topic.
Should I list my immigration status on my resume?
You do not need to list your immigration status on your resume. Your educational background and work history will display that you are an international student. You should never lie about your immigration status, but are not required to disclose it on your resume.
When in the hiring process do I reveal that I’m an international student?
Some employers adhere to strict policies against hiring foreign nationals. Others may prefer to hire U.S. citizens, but can be convinced otherwise. It is usually recommended that students wait until an employer asks, but be aware of whether the company has petitioned for visas in the past. If you are being asked to travel for an interview, it would be wise to ask, “Is this a position in which the company is willing to petition for an H1-B as I am currently in F-1 status?” For an additional perspective on this question, read this excerpt from a presentation (PDF) by Adrienne Nussbaum, Assistant Dean for International Student Services at Boston College.
Are there questions that are illegal for an employer to ask me?
An employer MAY NOT ask: “What is your visa type, nationality, place of birth?” or “Of which country are you a citizen?” or “What is your native language?” or “What language do you most often speak?” An employer MAY ask: “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” or “Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?” or “Which languages do you read, speak or write?” (provided that foreign language skills are job related)
I am in F-1 status. What should I say when an employer asks about my work authorization?
Explain that you have the legal right to work in the U.S. for up to twelve months using Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation. The employer does not need to do anything in order for this to happen. If you have graduated with a degree in one of the STEM (Sciences, Tech, Engineering, and Math) fields, then share that you are eligible for a 24-month STEM extension of your OPT. If you do not have a degree in a STEM field or if you’ve completed your STEM extension, you should explain that your work authorization may be authorized for another three-to-six years with H-1B status. If the employer asks for more information, you should be able to clearly explain the H-1B process. To learn more, OGS hosts an H-1B session each semester. Helpful hint: Avoid using the word “sponsor,” instead use the word “petition” when speaking about H-1B status.