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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 or J-1 status may accept short-term employment for up to 12 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.”

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.

International students are eligible for both the on-campus and online formats.  However, students enrolled in the online format will not be eligible to pursue the program in the U.S. in F-1 student status.  They will be eligible to request a Form I-20 and F-1 student visa ONLY to attend the required U.S.-based orientation and leadership immersion at the beginning of the program.  Once the immersion has concluded, the remaining components of the program will be offered online and students will be expected to complete degree requirements overseas, unless they are in the U.S. in another immigration status that allows full-time academic study.

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:

  • Can participate in the leadership immersion in Chapel Hill.  Most non-immigrant participants will enter the U.S. in F-1 student immigration status for this short immersion. F-1 students are typically allowed a 60 day grace period to depart the U.S. following completion of the immersion part of the program.
  • 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.
  • Cannot participate in the interview immersion, nor can they accept a school-facilitated internship in the United States, unless they have an immigration status that allows employment.

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.
  • If maintaining F-1 student status, may be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization following completion of the degree.

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

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