Optional Practical Training (OPT) is short-term employment for an F-1 student in their major area of study. The duration can be for up to 12 months before finishing their academic studies and/or after finishing their academic studies.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a short-term employment as part of an established curriculum, which is provided by employers sponsoring the student through cooperative agreements with the school. CPT is accessible only prior to the finishing of your degree program and you must obtain a job offer before applying for the application.
The minimum requirements for obtaining this classification are: (1) Sponsorship of the applicant by the U.S. employer, (2) a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent, and (3) a correlation between the job duties and the applicant’s education and work experience. In addition to the stated requirements, before applying for the H-1B petition with the Immigration & Naturalization Service, the applicant has to receive permission of labor condition attestation from the Department of Labor.
There is a limit of 65,000 for each fiscal year, on the number of foreign nationals who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status, according to the Immigration Act of 1990. For those who possess a master’s or higher degree from U.S. universities, there are an additional 20,000 H-1Bs available.
F-1 student’s dependents are eligible for F-2 visas but they are restricted from any form of employment that involves compensation. However, minor children may attend public schools.
For those with student visa, the duration of your stay in the United States will be on the basis of your student status. So even if the F-1 visa expires, you can continue to stay as long as you’re a full time student. If an F-1 student has finished the studies as per I-20 and any authorized practical training, can stay an additional 60 days before departure.
Since an F1 student is already legally staying in US, they have an edge while applying for green card through an F1. Few reasons to get green card could be:
- Employer Sponsorship
- The Green Card Lottery
Approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are accessible for qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, every fiscal year. There are five Employment-Based (EB) visa categories:
- EB-1 – For multinational executives with exceptional experience and ability in science, art, education, business, or sport.
- EB-2 – For those who hold a Master’s degree or higher in professions including medicine, science, and teaching.
- EB-3 – For skilled workers with at least 2 years of experience in their field, Master’s degree and PhD holders who are not covered by the EB-2 visa, and for low skilled workers to take a permanent US job.
- EB-4 – For those migrants who do not qualify under other visa categories: some religious workers, US Foreign service employees, and others.
- EB-5 – For investors who invest a minimum of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a US business with at least 10 employees.
PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) is an electronic processing system for filing labor certification applications for the employment-based green card.
Assistance for employers
Sponsoring green card
The process begins when the employer obtains an approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). After the labor certification has been approved by the DOL, the employer continues the process by filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of the foreign national with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The purpose of this form is to document that each new employee (both citizen and noncitizen) hired after November 6, 1986, is authorized to work in the United States.
E-Verify is a web-based system which helps employers confirm their employees’ eligibility to work in the US. Using E-Verify, employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of their newly hired employees by electronically matching the information they enter in the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available in the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Sponsoring temporary visas
U.S. immigration law may allow a U.S. employer to file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of a prospective foreign national employee. Upon approval of the petition, the prospective employee may apply for admission to the United States, or for a change of nonimmigrant status while in the United States, to temporarily work or to receive training.
Health care workers
Foreign nationals seeking admission to perform labor as health care workers, other than physicians, are only admissible to the United States if they present certification from a USCIS-approved credentialing organization verifying that the worker has met the minimum requirements for training, licensure, and English proficiency in his or her field.
Administered by the The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) exam tests a nurse’s competency to become an entry-level nurse. Subject matters on the exam include: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance and psychosocial integrity.
Visa Credentials Assessment Service is a comprehensive screening service for healthcare professionals seeking an occupational visa to work in the United States. Applicants who successfully complete VisaScreen® receive an official ICHP Certificate for the VisaScreen®: Visa Credentials Assessment Service. This certificate satisfies the United States Federal screening requirements.
English Exams for VisaScreen are required for health care workers seeking TN status, H-1B visas and green cards through their employment.
Citizenship through parents
There are two general ways to obtain citizenship through U.S. citizen parents, one at birth and one after birth but before the age of 18. The term “parents” includes the genetic father, the genetic mother and the non-genetic gestational mother if she is the legal parent at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfils the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant nearly 10 to 100 civics questions. An applicant has to answer at least 6 out of 10 questions correctly in order to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.
FAQs on College Immigration
What do you require to apply for an H-1B visa as an Indian student?
The minimum requirements for applying for an H-1B visa are as follows:
- Sponsorship by an American employer
- American Bachelor’s Degree or the equivalent of the same
- Correlation regarding what the job requires and how the applicant’s education helps with performing those duties
- Labor condition attestation as per the consequent Department of Labor
How many people can apply for an H-1B visa annually?
Every year, a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas are given out by the USA, as per their Immigration Act of 1990. However, for students who have a Master’s or Ph.D. degree from American colleges, an extra 20,000 H-1B visas are available. When it comes to employment-related EBI visas, almost 140,000 such immigrant visas are accessible on an annual basis.