Exceptional Global Talent

MIT Sloan attracts the brightest minds in business, and graduates of our STEM-designated programs may be eligible for up to 36 months of authorized employment in the U.S., through 12 months of Optional Practical Training and a 24-month STEM Extension. We encourage you not to let hesitation about a simple visa process keep you from reaching exceptional MIT Sloan candidates.

STEM-designated Degree Programs: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Leaders for Global Operations (LGO), Master of Finance, Master of Business Analytics, Master of Management Studies, MIT Sloan Fellows MBA (SFMBA), and MIT Executive MBA (EMBA) program.

Options for Hiring Students and Graduates

International students at MIT on a non-immigrant student visa (F-1 and J-1) may be eligible for employment authorization in their degree field of study, both during and after completion of degree. U.S. law provides several ways for employers to hire graduates. Practical Training and the H-1B Work Visa are two popular ways to hire international students.

Practical Training for F-1 Students

Internships – Curricular Practical Training:
Graduates in F-1 student status are eligible for Curricular Practical Training during their academic program, allowing them to complete an internship as part of their academic experience.

Full-Time Employment – Optional Practical Training:
Graduates in F-1 student status are eligible for Optional Practical Training, which allows up to 12 months of employment, and the STEM-designation of our graduate programs allows for employment to be extended up to 24 additional months, for a total of 36 months of employment.

Academic Training for J-1 Students
International students on J-1 visas are eligible for up to 18 months of work authorization called academic training.

Benefits to Employers

  • No filing fees or paperwork for the employer; the student obtains permission from the school and a work authorization card (I-20) from the USCIS.

  • For OPT, employer can extend 12-month period up to an additional 24 months, the employer and graduate submit a jointly-developed training plan.

F-1 and J-1 Employment Authorization Types

The International Students Office (ISO) provides information on employment authorization types that current students, and recent graduates, may be eligible for as a benefit of their F-1 nonimmigrant student or J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitor student categories. Details on all off-campus employment authorization types are available on the ISO Employment webpage:

H-1B Visas

The H-1B visa is the most commonly sought-after visa for companies seeking to hire international graduates. H-1B visas allow employers to hire workers in specialty occupations on a temporary basis, allowing employment for 6 years or longer. The employer must submit an application to USCIS and pay a filing fees (small employers with 25 or fewer employees pay reduced training fees, and non-profit and government agencies do not pay training fees). Normal processing time is several months but can be expedited through “premium processing” which guarantees processing in 15 days for an additional filing fee.

Alternatives to the traditional H1-B visa are offered for citizens of Chile and Singapore (H1-B1 Visa), Australia (E3 Visa), Canada and Mexico (TN Visa), and individuals with an extraordinary ability in their field (O-1 Visa).

More Resources for Companies Hiring International Students

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides information on visas for temporary employees and permanent employees.

United States Department of Labor provides information on hiring foreign workers, specialty or professional visas, and annual reports on the jobs for which employers have secured workers.