The United States government tightly regulates the employment (and internships) of foreign nationals, so the answer depends on the type of visa the student has. The student must have either an F-1 or J-1 visa. One benefit of the F-1 and J-1 status is that most students may apply for work authorization to accept a variety of employment opportunities. Best of all, it is possible for students to begin working without their employers having to provide visa sponsorship.
Working in the US without prior authorization is a serious violation of immigration regulations and may lead to cancellation of the student’s visa.
For more information about F-1 Visas, see here.
For more information about J-1 visas, see here.
Several institutions of higher education have posted guides for employers who want to hire international students as interns:
- University of Michigan, U.S. Employer’s Guide to Hiring International Students
- University of Chicago, Employer Guide for Hiring International Students
- Northwestern University, Employer Guide: Hiring International Students
Although some recommend a student or new graduate volunteer to work unpaid to gain experience, it is illegal for for-profit organizations to have volunteers perform work. (Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (membership required))
Remote Interns FAQs
- 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
- Best Practices for Creating a Successful Virtual Internship, Harvard Business School
- 10 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Workers, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- How to Establish a Virtual Onboarding Program, SHRM
- Remote Internships 101: Your Guide to Creating and Managing a Remote Internship Program, Parker Dewey
- 8 Tips To Develop A Successful Virtual Internship Program, eLearning Industry
- Considerations for remote internships, GitLab
- Tips & Guidelines for Employers to Create a Remote Internship, Yale University, Office of Career Strategy
- What to do about internships in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? A short guide to online internships for colleges, students, and employers, The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions, UW-Madison
- How to Embrace Remote Work: The ultimate guide of tried and tested strategies, from the world’s leading companies for remote work, Trello