New graduates are entering the market as summer draws near, and college students are looking for internships and summer jobs to support their studies. Our top advice for employing a recent graduate or summer intern who is a noncitizen on Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT) status is provided in this post. OPT and CPT allows international students in F-1 status to work for a U.S. company while pursuing “practical training” or internships in fields linked to their degree programmes. OPT and CPT benefits both F-1 students and employers by offering noncitizen students significant work experience and enabling American companies access to the best candidates by browsing through databases of OPT resume in USA in STEM disciplines, research, and other fields that are difficult to fill.
Although OPT and CPT are well-known employment options for non-citizen graduates and students, businesses should be aware that OPT and CPT employees have unique needs.
Five Pointers for Employers of OPT and CPT
- Particularly in technical fields, make sure the job title corresponds to the field of study: Many jobs of the future, according to labour theorists, don’t exist yet. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of today follows that reasoning. Technology advances quickly, and USCIS has had a difficult time keeping up with new businesses, particularly for employers in the IT, IoT, and SaaS sectors. It’s not usually the case that degree subjects like MIS and Electrical Engineering align with careers like data engineering, systems architecture, and development operations. You can avoid filing Requests for Evidence (RFE) by working to match the degree criteria for the positions you seek with the degree programmes of those candidates.
- Make sure you are familiar with the I-9 Documents: EAD cards (OPT), I-94 records, foreign passports, and Form I-20 are the most typical Section 1 and 2 documentation for F-1 status, while you should never ask an employee for specific documents during the I-9 process. Anyone handling these documents needs to be aware of how they fit within the I-9 procedure.
- Is your business an E-Verify participant?: In order to extend their OPT status for up to three years, employers who have signed up for E-Verify can assist F-1 OPT students working in STEM industries. This gives the E-Verify employer more chances to submit H-1B petitions for consideration in the H-1B lottery and/or to support the employee’s application for a “green card” through employment.
- Have a strategy in place to keep your employees engaged: OPT grants work permission for as long as 12 months to the majority of companies and, as was already said, as long as 36 months to employers who are enrolled with E-Verify and who are employing candidates who have OPT resumes in USA in STEM fields. Employers run the risk of losing the education and expertise their OPT worker has acquired after that. Following OPT, H-1B sponsorship is the most popular type of sponsorship; other choices include O-1 extraordinary ability visa sponsorship and sponsorship for lawful permanent resident status.
- Discovered the ideal applicant? Think about H-1B sponsorship frequently and early: Consider H-1B sponsorship as soon as you find a fantastic applicant for a role, someone who fits in well with your company and brings value with their experience. The H-1B lottery is currently a numbers game. The entry hurdle has been decreased through electronic registration for the H-1B lottery for H-1B sponsorship jobs, which now just charges a $15 registration fee. Smart companies know that they shouldn’t wait until the employee’s final year of employment to enter them in the H-1B lottery.
Are you new to your OPT or CPT Job? Do you want to know more? Employers are welcome to schedule a free consultation with us by visiting www.optnation.com today.