A Student Visa and Job Opportunities in the U.S.

It poses certain challenges to work as a student with an international visa in the United States. The difficulty of finding a job on an F-1 student visa is heightened by the fact that there are several obstacles to overcome. In addition, USCIS has established certain qualifications that applicants must meet. In addition, USCIS has established certain conditions that applicants must meet in order to qualify for a student visa. Below is a list of some legal workarounds you can use to work with a student visa.

1. On-campus employment

Universities, colleges and other educational institutions each permit students to work on or near their campuses. F-1 visa holders are included in this. On campus, you can assist with research, work in the library, and use any skills you have to work in the residence halls and administrative offices. Students may be able to work for some universities' onsite clients. During the course curriculum, however, there are strict rules regarding working hours. In general, students are allowed to work 20 hours per week while enrolled in classes; however, during the summer break, you may be able to apply for extended hours or full-time employment. Students working on campus may gain experience, but they cannot generate a steady income from it.

2. Job insecurity due to economic hardship

International students studying in the United States may utilize this special employment provision if they are working to meet their basic needs. Getting a job may be due to the loss of educational aid or even currency fluctuations. A job might be needed urgently due to an increase in tuition or living expenses, an unexpected change to your financial situation, or medical expenses related to an emergency situation. Anything that affects or threatens your financial standing should be used to establish your eligibility for on- and off-campus employment. The F-1 visa must be valid for at least one academic year, you must be in good academic standing, you must provide adequate evidence of hardship, and you must provide supporting documentation. In addition to applying for the special exception, you should take proactive steps to find employment on campus. USCIS will issue you a special Employment Authorization Document (EAD) once your application is approved.

3. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

There are several options available to F-1 visa students depending on their field of study when it comes to OPT employment while studying at any university in the United States. Students with F-1 visas can choose between a pre- and post-completion OPT option depending on their field of study.

4. Pre-completion OPT

A student must be enrolled full-time for at least one academic year at a major university in order to be considered. To attend universities that participate in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you may not need to have an active F-1 status.

5. Post-completion OPT

OPT post-completion provides the option of part-time or full-time employment. This application will take into account any prior OPT work hours. If you have already worked for six consecutive months during the academic year, you can only work for another six months in the same field of study once you have completed the academic year. Having worked for a total of 12 months during the academic year is allowed.

Students in the STEM fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), are eligible for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT. The following conditions must be met by you: you must possess a valid F-1 visa, you must have obtained your STEM degree, you must have an initial grant of post-OPT work authorization, and you must be employed by an authorized STEM employer.

6. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

In contrast to the Optional Practical Training, the CPT provides comprehensive practical work experience and the opportunity to study in multiple fields. However, student visa holders must meet several eligibility requirements and qualification criteria. First and foremost, CPT must be incorporated into your major field of study and not merely mentioned passingly. This training module is available to international applicants during graduation, and a designated school official (DSO) handles all communication. During the first semester, you can arrange the CPT with your DSO if your academic program requires practical training. If necessary, the DSO will provide you with a full-time or part-time training schedule as well as the Form I-20, the "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status." You will not be eligible for OPT after completing 12 months of full CPT. The continuation of OPT will not be a problem for part-time CPT applicants.

7. Working with an internationally recognized organization

Students who wish to work in the U.S. with a student visa can also apply to any recognized company. In order to find this type of job, you need to contact organizations listed on the State Department's official list. Some notable organizations include the Red Cross, the WHO, WTO, and the African and Asian Development Banks. However, there is a catch; students can only qualify for the special employment status if they have already been offered employment by one of these organizations. If you are offered a full-time job or internship, please ensure that the field of study you are studying is related to the full-time job or internship. It is also important to have a valid F-1 visa for a full academic year before you start working at a university, as well as the ability to take good courses.