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International students in the online format

With respect to the restrictions described below, an “international student” is defined as any student who is neither a U.S. citizen nor one who holds U.S. permanent resident status.

UNC cannot issue a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for the F-1 student visa) for the purpose of attending an in-person orientation and leadership immersion. International students who are in the U.S. in another immigration status are permitted to attend the in-person orientation and leadership immersion. Therefore, international students requiring an Form I-20 must attend the virtual orientation and leadership immersion. The next virtual orientation and leadership immersion will in December 2024 for the January 2025 start.

Because immigration regulations governing employment restrict participation in employment-related recruitment and internship activities, there are some additional differences between the on-campus and online formats.

International students enrolled in the online format:

    • Cannot participate in the leadership immersion in Chapel Hill unless they are in the United States under another immigration status that permits them to attend this event. International students must otherwise attend the virtual orientation and leadership immersion.
    • Can participate in the graduation ceremony in Chapel Hill. Typically, graduates would enter the U.S. in B-1/B-2 or WB/WT immigration status since the degree requirements would have been met.

International students enrolled in the on-campus format (typically in F-1 immigration status):

      • Can participate in the leadership immersion in Chapel Hill.
      • Can participate in all campus-based events, including social events and graduation.
      • Can participate in all recruitment events for full-time U.S.-based positions, including the interview immersion and other events organized by employers and/or the career services team.
      • Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides F-1 visa students with the opportunity to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months after graduation. For international students, the STEM designation of our MAC programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler offers added benefit. International students graduating from our MAC program are eligible for a two-year extension (24 months) on the initial one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) period that you are given to work in the U.S. before applying for a visa.

If you have further questions, please contact International Student and Scholar Services at, or by phone at 919-962-5661.

Employment of international students

International students can obtain full-time positions in accounting through the MAC on-campus recruiting process. However, those who are the most successful:

      • Demonstrate a very strong fluency in English
      • Are generally extroverted in personality style
      • Are very comfortable with and have a clear understanding of U.S. culture

Students who do not possess these qualities will likely have difficulty obtaining a position in the U.S. through our on-campus interview process.

International students holding visas with employment restrictions

Most international students in F-1 status may accept short-term employment for up to 36 months. There are no costs to the employer for this process.

      • The employment must be for “practical training” purposes.
      • The student must get prior approval from the International Student Advisor.
      • Students must also get an Employment Authorization Document prior to the start of employment.

International students may also qualify for an H-1B visa. This allows them to work in the U.S. for up to six years.

      • The employer must submit the visa petition and pay filing fees.
      • Processing times for H-1B visas vary. “Premium Processing” is an option if the position and employee qualify. For timely processing, this option is strongly encouraged.
      • Many employers choose to engage an attorney to help with H-1B visa or permanent residency petitions.

Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at and choose “For Employers.”


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