Employers Guide to Hiring International OPT Students

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

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 hired.

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.


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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:

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 incorporated 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:

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’re allowed to work for a maximum of twelve months unless an extension is granted.

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.

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 required:

  • 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 authorized to work in the US.
  • Have follow-up questions to drill down their exact work position. Include this normal question on all employment applications: Would you provide documentation showing you’re authorized 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 job offer is made, they should petition for an H-1B visa if employment is likely to extend beyond the practical training period.


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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.