How to work in the US?
Over 20 different Visas are available for individuals who wish to work in the U.S. without permanently relocating to the U.S. These are known as non-immigrant worker classifications. The following is a sampling of the most common, however this list does not detail all the requirements for each classification, contact us for detailed information:
Note, most of the above employment related statuses require that a U.S. employer complete and submit the Form I-129on behalf of the foreign born worker.
Work Status granted due to Nonimmigrant Status as a Student
A foreign national who has been admitted into the U.S. in an F1 status or who has been granted a change of status in the U.S. typically does not have work authorization, other than for a part-time (20 hr/wk) job providing on-campus services.
There are some exceptions to the general rule, which require careful review of various codes within the Federal Regulations to determine whether part-time or full-time work is permitted during an authorized stay in the U.S. in a student F1 status. In emergent situations for a foreign student pertaining to his or her home country or home life, the foreign student is permitted to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) for part-time work off-campus during the school sessions, and full time hours during vacation or holidays from the regular school session.
Additionally, paid internships known as curricular practical training (CPT) can afford work authorization off campus while the student follows a course of study, or pre-and-post Optional Practical Training (OPT) not to exceed twelve months in total is permitted either prior to graduation or following the completion of a course of study.
More recently, a new regulation permits students in certain fields of study known as STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) to gain an additional 17 months of work authorization to work in a position in their field after graduation and completion of the initial OPT time period if the employer is an E-Verify employer.
The regulations pertaining to students are very specific as to timing on how to file, when to file, eligibility and maintaining status. Some Designated Student Officers (DSO) are quite knowledgeable about the practice, while others are not as familiar There are times that a student will unwittingly fall out of status or have their SEVIS record terminated due to a misunderstanding of the requirements for filing and eligibility. It is, therefore, highly suggested to verify information and direction gained through an international office at a college or university with a knowledgeable immigration attorney. The Pinjuh Law Firm has helped many students understand the requirements for obtaining work authorization, filing for work authorization, overcome difficulties or Requests for Evidence for obtaining work authorization, and obtaining reinstatements of student status when an application fails.