International Students - Employment in the USA

All on-campus work-study positions only require an international student to have an F-1 visa. Off-campus employment must be authorized by the International Admissions Office at ORU.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a position related to the student's degree plan. For example, an education major that works two days a week as a substitute teacher or a nursing student that works as a CNA. ORU has an application process the student must follow, but there is no government application. There is a one year limit on full-time CPT, so it is recommended that the international student ask for part-time (20 hours a week or less).

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

For every degree level completed, the international student has one year of full-time work authorization he/she can use called OPT. Most international students reserve this year of work for when they graduate. However, at ORU, undergraduate, international students are eligible for off-campus employment after one school year in valid status. Graduate and doctoral level students are eligible for immediate authorization upon valid enrollment.

International students cannot be hired as independent contractors. If the international student has been in the U.S. less than five years on an F-1 or J-1 visa, no FICA taxes need to be paid by the employer or the student.

H-1B Visas

If you wish to work in the USA after your OPT is complete, you need a work visa. An H-1B visa is the primary USA work visa/work permit. US Immigration requires every foreign national to obtain a visa in order to legally work in the USA. Steps to obtain at H-1B visa:

  1. Find a job with a company who will sponsor an H-1B visa for you.
  2. Your new employer (sponsor company) then files your H-1B application.
  3. Your H-1B visa application is approved by the US Immigration Bureau.
  4. You can start work for your new employer in the USA.

Important: Only the employer can apply for the visa, and the visa is issued for a particular employee. You cannot apply for an H-1B visa by yourself.

To qualify for an H-1B visa you must work in a specialty occupation. For example, IT, Computing, Finance, Accounting, Banking, Marketing, Advertising, PR, Sales, Recruiting, Engineering (all types), Teaching, Health Care/Medical, Legal, Lawyers, Networking, Telecoms, Business, Management.

The H-1B visa is typically valid for up to six years. It is normally issued in for an initial period of 3 years, and then it has to be extended.

An H-1B visa entitles your spouse and children (under 21) to accompany you and live in the USA on an H-4 visa. However, the H-4 visa does not allow your spouse or children to work.

The H-1B visa is a Dual Intent visa. This means that you can apply for a Green Card (Legal Permanent Residency).