Employers Guide to Hiring International OPT Students

How to Hire OPT Students, hiring opt students, hiring opt cpt

International OPT Students

The intricacies of hiring OPT students can occasionally discourage employers from hiring student visa holders. Nevertheless, passing over these candidates is a missed chance. International students add diversity to the provider’s labor force, bring new perspectives to business issues and encouraging the organization’s capability to find innovative solutions. As a team, these folks are goal-oriented and adventuresome, plus they frequently have language skills which are tough to find in other candidates. There are several caveats on how to hire opt students, as a series of rules apply to the F1, J1, or M1 visa applications. A rapid review of student visa basics before attracting international students on board will make sure that only people eligible for the job are hiring.

Employer’s Guide on How to Hire OPT Students

The F1 Student Visa program enables international students to live in the USA while they’re enrolled in a full-time academic or diploma program in a school, college, or a university. These people may take on-campus tasks without limitation, but there are limits to the off-campus jobs they could hold. Probably the most significant constraints is a limitation on working off-campus through the 1st year of academic study.


Candidates might not be working for anyone off Campus Company, without exception, throughout their 1st year of school. Following their 1st year of school, Candidates with F1 visas may seek off-campus employment which falls into one of the next two classes:

OPT Students Curricular Practical Training:

These jobs have been created through a partnership between outside employers and the faculty. Employers provide internships, cooperative education, or other practicums which are incorporate into the program. Under these conditions, the Designated School Official completes Form I-20 as confirmation of the student’s work eligibility.

Optional Practical Training: for OPT Students

While not directly incorporated into the program, OPT employment is directly related to the student’s academic major. Candidates who get a work permit in the OPT capability have constraints on their hours. When school is in session, they can only work 20 hours per week, although they might work full time when at school isn’t in session. They will be  allow to work for a maximum of twelve months unless an extension is grants.

In both cases, employers are not accountable for completing paperwork or assisting prospective workers in obtaining work authorization. Candidates work with their school administration and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain appropriate documentation.

Employers are accountable for reviewing student visa holders’ documentation, plus they confirm they’ve done so throughout the process of completing employee I-9 forms. The I-9 form is obligatory for each US employee upon hire, as it verifies each worker’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States.

Observations you need to make Prior to Hiring International Students

One of the most sought-after career ready skills after graduation, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, is “Global and Intercultural Fluency” (Source). However, there appears to be a gap between what businesses perceive as desirable and how, if at all, they might use international students to meet those skills demands. This article will debunk some common misconceptions about hiring talent from abroad.

Although there are a few myths around employing overseas students, it is essentially the same as hiring domestic students. The following details features of hiring international students and may assist your company with respect to U.S. immigration laws.

International students are granted permission to work under Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships and jobs while enrolled in classes by the university’s International Student & Scholars Office (ISSO), as well as under Optional Practical Training (OPT) for jobs after receiving their degrees from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Students are accountable for filling out the necessary documentation and sending it to the correct organisation, whether it be ISSO or USCIS, in terms of both process and expense.

Throughout the CPT and OPT durations, there is no requirement to sponsor or apply for any visas.

There are no additional expenses, and because Social Security and Medicare tax obligations (FICA taxes) are waived for students, firms actually save about 8% of their employees’ salary.

Employing international students has several benefits, some of hem are:

They have fresh viewpoints and problem-solving abilities. The capacity to value, respect, and learn from diversity is known as global/intercultural fluency. Show openness, inclusivity, compassion, and superior performance in diverse workplaces. They are able to speak many languages fluently and are knowledgeable about international markets, ethical business practises, and cultures. They have the courage to face uncertainty and acclimatise to unfamiliar circumstances. Additionally, STEM students can be very beneficial to small enterprises.

How to Find Internships for Currently Enrolled Students

To take part in internships in the United States, international students do not need sponsorship for their visas. After the first year of their programmes, all international students are qualified to participate in internships and are not dependent on employers for visa sponsorship. The majority of students have F-1 visa status and are eligible thanks to a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) grant. Compared to recruiting American labour, hiring international students doesn’t involve any more paperwork. A Job Offer Letter is the sole document needed to recruit an international student.

How to Employ International Graduates for Full-Time Jobs

It’s easier than many businesses believe for international students to obtain permission to work in the United States. The majority of foreign students studying in the United States have non-immigrant student visas (F-1 and J-1), and they are permitted to accept employment under specific circumstances.

After graduation, international students are permitted to work in the United States for at least 12 months, and STEM students are also eligible for 24-month extensions. All F-1 students get Optional Practical Training (OPT) grants, which provide them authority to work legally in the United States for a year after graduation. Students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are eligible for extensions of up to 24 months, allowing them to continue working full-time after receiving their degrees for a total of 36 months. Employers are not required to obtain work permission from USCIS during this time. There are no additional expenditures, and this serves as the first step in turning these workers into long-term hiring and guaranteeing smooth transfers.

Completing an I-9 for an F1 Visa Holder

When completing the I-9 process and verifying eligibility and identity for hiring OPT students, the following documents are requires:

  • Unexpired passport.
  • Form I-20 with the Designated School Official’s endorsement for employment.
  • A legal Form I-94 or I-94A Arrival-Departure Record completed by the State Department confirming F1 status.

Checklist for hiring OPT students with F1 visa

  • When posting your function, consider utilizing a tool like Simplicity Recruit which allows you to include screening criteria which ask students whether or not they’re lawfully authorize to work in the US.
  • Have follow-up questions to drill down their exact work position. Include this normal question on all employment applications: Will you provide documentation showing you’re authorize to work in the United States?
  • Though student visa holders must be aware of their job eligibility, enquire about the kind of visa during screening interviews.
  • Upon hire, ensure Candidates complete I-9 forms with proper identification documents.
  • Complete W-4 document. Inspection W-4 with taxation adviser and salary service to ensure the correct calculation of taxation.
  • Keep I-9 documents via standard archive storage procedures.
  • Follow up when the work permit expires to determine the next steps concerning the student’s job status.

Managing Taxes for Employees with Student Visas

F1 and J1 visa holders are usually exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes, so long as the work being done is allowed under the prerequisites of their visas. They’re frequently exempt from withholding of income taxation as well, however, a licensed tax adviser is the best source of detailed info on different situations. Employees with student visas must Complete the W-4 form using an alternative set of instructions: Check the Single, marital status on line 3. Don’t assert Exempt, withholding status on line 7. Write Nonresident Alien, or NRA, above the dotted line on line 6 of Form W-4.

Federal regulations require that employment terminates at the conclusion of the authorized practical or academic training. However, students on an F-1 visa, or students on a J-1 visa who are not subject to a two year home residency requirement, may continue to be employed, if they receive approval for a change in visa category usually to H-1B. Students must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for H-1Bstatus. Individuals may work in the United States for a maximum of six years under an H-1B visa. This visa is valid only for employment with the company that petitioned for them. They must re-apply to the USCIS if they wish to change employers. As soon as the initial OPT job offer will be live. They should petition for an H-1B visa if employment is likely to extend beyond the practical training period.


Also Read Methods of How to Hire OPT Students

  • Some employers post their job descriptions on Online Job Portals where candidates submit their resumes.
  • Vacancy Advertisement in print and audiovisual media
  • Through employee references
  • Hiring Third-Party Agencies
  • Subscribing to recruitment tools and platforms

One such platform is OPTnation. OPTnation is a career consultancy who acts as an interface between job seekers and employers. They have OPT candidates resume database which has around more than 300K resumes of OPT candidates which are updated and reliable. This resume database is a proven source for lot employers and they have around 7500 clients and recruiters simply have sorted and filtered the right candidates as per their requirement.

Let’s Find OPT Students Database in USA