Career Support

ISSS assists international students who are planning to search for jobs in the U.S. by providing the following information:

  • What work authorizations are available to international students/graduates and how to address your visa status with potential employers.
  • How to find Career Services on campus and what online resources are available for University of Minnesota students

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Understand Your Visa Regulations About Work Authorization

It is essential that all international understand the regulations about on- or off-campus employment before seeking a job. By reviewing this information, you will:

  • Know what jobs you can and cannot accept.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from potential employers.
  • Ensure you avoid negative consequences from working without valid authorization.

ISSS F & J visa advisors are also available to answer your questions after you review the relevant information. We strongly recommend that you speak to an ISSS advisor before looking for or beginning an off-campus job. By doing this, you will 1) feel confident that you know what jobs you are allowed to take as an international student and 2) you will be able to plan so that your work authorization starts by the time your employment starts.

F-1 students J-1 students

Watch Our Workshops About Getting a Visa To Work After Graduation

Please note: Look at the previous item if you you are looking for information about CPT, OPT, or AT.

ISSS Career Support organizes workshops each semester to inform international students about work authorization options in the United States. The H-1B Visa Workshop and the Employment-based Visas and Permanent Residency (also called "green card") Workshop are repeated each fall and spring. These in-person workshops are delivered by immigration lawyers in the Twin Cities, and the ISSS Events page will have information about any upcoming workshops. Students have the chance to ask questions during and after the workshops. 

  • Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Options for UMN International Students: Recording (February 2024)
  • Non-Immigrant Visas and Green Card Options: Recording (October 2023)
  • Immigration Options for Future UMN Entrepreneurs: Recording (November 2022)

We occasionally offer a workshop about work and immigration options in Canada presented by the Canadian Consulate.

We also work with UMN student groups to provide information workshops about F-1 or J-1 student visa employment options, including Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and STEM OPT. If you have a group request, please contact [email protected] to inquire about a workshop for your group.

Use UMN Career Services

What is the difference between ISSS's Career Support and Career Services?

  • Career Services: The Career Services offices across campus support students wishing to explore career options, understand the skills and knowledge you have gained from your previous experiences, find opportunities, and navigate the job search process. At the University of Minnesota, each college has a designated Career Services office focusing on the unique needs of the students in the college and connecting with relevant employers. Career Services has also made a section on their website with information for international students (including graduate students).
  • ISSS Career Support: ISSS Career Support can answer your employment-related visa questions. We encourage you to use Career Services for broader questions.

Read Tips from Alumni

Browse our stories about how international alumni found work after graduation.

Their advice:

  • Start early!
  • Be involved in campus community. This will help 1) you find a field that you are passionate about and 2) acquire skills in multi-tasking, communication, and teamwork.
  • Discover something that you are interested in and drive that to success.
  • Determine the general direction of what you want to do, and find out how the visa rules impact that.
  • Be genuinely curious of the fields you may be entering.  
  • Develop practical capabilities and skill that will help distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Gain experiences and be flexible. You should take the opportunities that come to you as they can lead to other opportunities.
  • A great way to start is by volunteering if you do not have any experience in the field.
  • Start building relationships with your professors, mentors, and classmates.
  • Make friends with your classmates in the courses for your major, and stay connected with them. 
  • Spend a lot of time preparing for your job search. You will want to 1) make sure your resume is flawless and 2) find out what types of interview styles are used in your field.
  • Do not give up!
  • You may need to apply for a lot of jobs to get some interviews.

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Last updated: May 22, 2024