United States is the place where most students from across the globe thrive to work for and particularly lot of Indians found their fortunes starting their Jobs in USA. US offer a number of Job opportunities for students. All International students with an F-1 VISA are allowed to work part time for 20 hrs. per week during their academic session and full time during vacations. Students can expect earnings of around $6-$10 per hour, depending on the kind of job they do.
Apart from the regular option of part time jobs for students, US provide few other study and work opportunities / internships in USA to international students. Students can opt for different schemes like CPT and OPT.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training) or Internship in USA is an employment authorization given to students on a temporary basis to work in the areas directly related to their field of study. CPT is generally authorized by the International Office of the particular university. You are eligible to apply for Internship in USA or CPT, if you have been registered at a university / college in the US on a full time basis for at least one full academic year.
Students require a separate I-20 to get engaged in a CPT, which will be provided by the International Office of that University / College. CPT or Internship in USA may be part-time for 20 hrs. per week during the regular academic session or full-time during the vacations. You will not be eligible to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training, which is another type of work authorization) if you have completed 12 months of full-time Internship in USA or CPT authorization.
OPT (Optional Practical Training) provides students with an opportunity for practical Job experience related to their field of study.
Under the OPT scheme students will normally be allowed for a maximum of 12 months of full time professional Jobs in USA. Students with STEM related courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as their field of study are qualified for an additional 17 months of OPT time for doing Job in USA while remaining on students Visa.
Most of the students opt for “post-completion” OPT, which begins after the completion of their academic course. Under Post-completion OPT scheme students are allowed to do Job in USA full-time and you can begin it after having completed the degree.
Many students wonder how they can continue to work in US beyond the OPT period!
The H-1B option is what most of the students normally opt for, at the end of the OPT for Full time Job in USA. H-1B is a non immigrant VISA for employment in United States. It is more often called as “Work VISA”. H-1B VISA will normally be given six years. Students must get a job in USA from an employer who is willing to file the petition for the H-1B. An employer will file the application for H-1B on behalf of the employee. If the student is living within the US, then they can change their F-1 VISA status to H-1B to work in USA. They will have to approach a US Consulate to apply for H-1B VISA if they are outside the US.
H-1B VISA has a cap of 65,000 new visas to be granted every year, and 20,000 additional visas for those who have earned higher and advanced degrees in the US Universities like Masters and PhD. Some section of employers like governmental research organizations, Institutions of higher education are exempted from this cap limit.