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Many people wonder if it is easy to get a job in the USA for international students. This hesitation is mainly due to the country’s immigration laws and the real employment opportunities currently available in its territory.

In this article, we will try to answer that question by shedding light on the different ways to study in the United States and work simultaneously.

F-1 and J-1 visas for international students to get a job in the USA

It is common for students from other countries to opt for an F-1 Visa to come to the United States to study English, pursue a college degree, or prepare themselves academically in any way.

However, it is good to be aware that those traveling to the United States with an F-1 visa They will not be able to work legally in that nation, since this type of visa only allows them to dedicate themselves exclusively to their studies and to take on very specific jobs, and under very specific conditions, within the institutions where they are being prepared.

Suppose students want to work while training academically. In that case, they should opt for a J-1 Visa, which is a visa issued to academic researchers, professors, exchange students, and individuals seeking to train in any way in the United States.

These J-1 visas offer permission to work in a variety of fields while completing academic training.

J-1 visas are open to high school students, young people who want to work as au pairs, summer camp counselors, teachers, doctors, university students, interns, specialists in various fields who want to continue their training, and international visitors from the public sector.

To qualify for F-1 and J-1 visas, students must be accepted by an academic institution, and then go to the U.S. embassy in their home country to apply.

Curricular Practical Training

But let’s say you came to the U.S. on an F1 visa and you want to work off campus because you need more income to support yourself.

In this case, which is quite common, you can apply for a Curricular Practical Training, which is nothing more than a right to a practical internship in a company.

This is not so difficult to achieve because internships are almost always a requirement for graduation, and because many universities have agreements with companies that need to recruit interns. The detail is that wages are not too good compared to those in the U.S. labor market.

Optional Practical Training

There is another form that you can access when you have already completed one academic year within the educational institution. It is called Optional Practical Training, and it is a temporary job related to your career.

This work permit applies to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in progress, and there are two modalities: a part-time or full-time permit before finishing your studies and a full-time permit once you have finished your studies.

STEM Careers

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors can work in the United States if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have arrived in the country with an F-1 Visa and successfully completed your studies.
  • Graduation in one of the STEM careers.
  • Be recruited by a company belonging to the E-Verify system.
  • Receive an initial authorization for employment from Optional Practical Training post-completion.

Another way for international students to get a job in the U.S.

There is also a general procedure for students who really need to work in the United States, and that is to apply for a permit from the Immigration Service.

To do so, you must request authorization from the Designated School Official, take that authorization to the Immigration Service, demonstrate that you will remain a full-time student, and begin looking for a job that does not interfere with your studies.

That application will only receive a positive response if you actually enter the United States as a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa.

But is it really easy to get a job in the USA for international students?

According to data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there is a labor shortage of up to 3.5 million people. In other words, it is always possible to get a job in many of the nation’s states.

The big challenge is to meet all of the above requirements and get a job in the area for which you have studied. In any case, if you manage to do things right, you will almost certainly succeed.

And can English students work?

Studying English and working in the United States is possible with a J-1 Visa, which will allow you to work, for example, as an au pair while you complete your language studies. As we said, this can also be achieved with an F-1 visa, but with very specific characteristics and generally after the first year of studies.

At Lingua Language Center, we are dedicated to offering English and major modern language programs from our various locations in Florida. Write to us! Part of our commitment is to help students by advising them on the right way to come learn with us.