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According to the Institute of International Education, in 2016, the U.S. set a record high of having 975,000 international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. There are lots of good reasons students come to the U.S. to study: a quality education, international experience for their resume, practical work experience, and opportunities to work in the U.S. after graduation. A-State is excited to welcome you and we want to help you in your career aspirations. The information you will find on this page is to help you comprehend and conquer the difficulties associated with international students seeking employment in the U.S. We’ll give you an overview of the job market, helpful information, and resources as you start your search, and a summary of how our Career Services and Immigration offices can assist you.
Just remember: the student holds the responsibility for his or her own job search, securing a position, and obeying all immigration regulations and policies of Arkansas State University, which apply to F1 students, including employment regulations. Working without proper authorization is a serious violation of a student’s F1 status. Arkansas State University has resources to help students as they engage in this process and we encourage students to use them.
Understanding the U.S. Job Market and Competition
The job market in the United States is extremely competitive with almost 4 million students graduating annually, beginning new careers. This means that you are competing with all other international students and U.S. citizens.
To compete with U.S. citizens, you need to set yourself apart and be distinctive, through your worldview and experience. You will have to find a suitable position and an employer who is willing to spend the extra time and money sponsoring your visa after your optional practical training (OPT) period. Since companies are in extra effort to assist you, your job is to be clear on the value you add over U.S. citizens and other international students.
Hiring an international candidate requires employers to go through the following process after the optional practical training (OPT) period ends:
The state of the job market effects the inclination and capability of employers to sponsor international students since the number of H1B visas is capped each year. The 2018 fiscal year quotas were set at:
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), employers have to follow guidelines if they seek to sponsor an international candidate. These guidelines can be pretty strict, including that the candidate has extraordinary ability in their field and that they are the best fit for the job.
Before You Start Your Job Search:
The first step in the job search for international students is to make sure that you have your employment authorization for your period of optional practical training (OPT). Visit the International Student Services office and meet with an Immigration Advisor to learn more.
Helpful Information for International Students:
The best employment prospects for international students may be with international companies. International students are huge benefits to global organizations desiring language skills, respect for diversity, and/or knowledge of overseas economies. International students should also pursue organizations that have historically sponsored H1B visas.
Hire A-State – Career Services’ online portal for information such as event and workshop schedules, resume postings, interviewing and networking tools, and job postings. This is a service for students and alumni.
U.S.C.I.S. – The official United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department that provides the information on employment regulations.
MyVisaJobs – Information portal and online community for visa job hunters around the world. Major services include annual and quarterly reports for H1B visa and green card, sponsor.
H1Base – Online, interactive database that allows international students to directly connect with the top 550 H1B sponsor companies. This database includes an immigration kit that provides links to key forms, information, and free access to immigration attorneys. This also includes a networking kit that provides links to job search engines and job sites specifically designed for international students.
Immihelp.com – Job seekers can use the immihelp searchable database to seek out employers who have historically sponsored H1B visa candidates.
Establishing a career path and staying connected upon graduation with A-State are major issues for graduating students. A-State’s Career Services office is here to help.
Our Career Services office is here to help all students from freshmen to seniors to even graduate students. Come visit early in your university career and re-visit often. It is never too early to get started.
Services and Resources Offered in Career Services:
For more information, please visit their web page at: http://www.astate.edu/a/careers/
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I list my visa status on my resume?
Your visa status should not be included on your resume. Your permanent address, educational background, and work history will display that you are an international student. Hiring managers will ask the appropriate questions during the recruitment process. You should never lie about your visa status, but given the reservations employers have about hiring an international student, it is not to your benefit to draw attention to it.
Are there illegal questions?
An employer may not ask:
An employer may ask:
If a company says they don’t hire international students, should I even apply?
Sure-unless the job description specifically states that international candidates may not apply. A lot of times when employers say they don’t hire international students, it means that they haven’t hired any international students, yet, and you may be the first! In order to convince these prospective employers, it is your responsibility to educate them about the process of hiring a foreign national. Be mindful that they still may not hire you. It is recommended that you first target organizations with a history of hiring employees on a work visa.
What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?