UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Hiring International Students

About 25% of UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students are international; these students have not only excelled in their fields in their home countries, but have also fully immersed themselves in the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA experience. Our international students bring a unique, well-rounded global perspective to complex business problems, making them an asset to our MBA program and to the firms that hire them.

Myths: Hiring International MBAs

Opening your position to international students gives you access to a deep pool of talented MBA candidates. The process of hiring international students is less costly and time-consuming than you may think.

Myth: Hiring an international student is complicated and costly.

International students can work without sponsorship at no additional cost to the employer during their summer internship and for 12 months following graduation. During this time, many international employees are able to streamline the visa process by working with their employer to secure necessary documentation and offset some associated costs. The average cost of an H1B visa is less than half of the average MBA signing bonus.

Myth: Employers must prove that U.S. citizens cannot fill a role before they can offer to international students.

The H1B visa does not require employers to test the U.S. labor market before making an offer to an international student. The sole exception is employers receiving funds under the TARP program or Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act; no other employers have this obligation.

Myth: Summer internships are too short to justify the effort needed to hire an international student.

Hiring an international student for summer internships does not require any type of sponsorship or U.S. government permission. Internships offer a unique opportunity to hire talented international students and assess potential for full-time employment after graduation.

Myth: International students are more difficult to assimilate into company culture.

Most international students have led or worked on cross-functional, cross-country teams and are very adaptable. They often have a deep appreciation for and awareness of cultural differences, and the importance of adapting to new environments.

International Hiring Process

Summer Internship

International students in F-1 or J-1 visa status may work in the U.S. as summer interns without company sponsorship. There are no costs to the employer and little paperwork. Please follow the steps below:

  • Send an offer letter on company letterhead to the Kenan-Flagler MBA International Student Advisor. It should state employment dates, hours, location, and job duties. Click here to download our offer letter template.
  • Submit the student’s work application along with the letter of employment.

Full-time Employment

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.

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.

While every effort has been made to provide accurate information, you should always check the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website (http://www.uscis.gov) for the most up-to-date information and regulations. The Career & Leadership team can also provide referrals to immigration attorneys if needed.