F-1 Visa

This writeup deals with the process of employing a student or student graduate. I invite someone to add a w/u about strictly the student visa requirements or details.

Businesses frequently seek to employ students pursuing a full-time course of studies in the United States or ex-students who have recently graduated from a U.S. college or university. Provided such student is in the typical visa status for students, F-1, it may be possible for him/her to obtain permission to work.

The F-1 regulations provide for several types of employment authorizations, some incident to status, others authorized by the "designated school official" (DSO) or foreign student advisor. The first important type of employment authorization is the pilot off-campus program created by the Immigration Act of 1990.

The prospective employer must:

  • have recruited unsuccessfully for the position which the F-1 alien will occupy (or for a similar position) for at least 60 days,
  • be offering wages and working conditions similar to those at the work site or as are prevailing for similar positions in the area of employment and
  • must attest to the U.S. Department of Labor as to above two conditions through filing a special form. When the employer provides a copy of the filed form to the designated school official, the DSO may authorize a week during the academic year and full time during vacation, holidays and academic breaks.

The most common type of employment authorization is "post-completion of studies practical training." This is a period (or periods) of up to one year total granted by the INS (not the DSO) to an F-1 who has been engaged in full-time study for at least nine months and who has completed or will complete the requirements for a degree prior to beginning work. The F-1 must apply during the 120 day period which begins 90 days before and ends 30 days after the date of completion of degree requirements (which may precede the date of graduation). The employment must be directly related to the student's field of study and appropriate for the student's level of education. Since the student must apply to the INS, there may be a significant delay before the student receives authorization to begin employment. Students contemplating such employment authorization prior to graduation should be encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Types of Visas

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