March 27, 2012 – International students are having a tough time finding work in the US.
Due to restrictive US visa requirements and limited job opportunities, many international students are finding themselves struggling to secure work in the United States.
According to Patricia Rose, director of Career Services, there are many career paths that are not even open to international students who want to remain in the United States.
There are some employers who are not willing to recruit international students as they do not have the resources to sponsor students for American visas.
Currently, International students account for about 7% of the American University student population.
The International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) office, which oversees international students at the school, states that there are approximately 40 percent of international students at AU who want to work in the United States after graduation.
However, International Students are finding it tough to find jobs.
Though, after graduation, international students are able to pursue a federal program called Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows them to take paid work off campus in the United States for a year before their student visas expire.
However, after OPT, an international student is required to obtain a H1B United States visa to work in the US. This H1B USA visa must be applied by the US employer to the government for the visa on the student’s behalf.
Valid for a maximum of three years, the H1B visa can be extended at the discretion of the employer for another three years. Once expired, the student is required to apply for a new immigrant visa if he or she wishes to remain in the United States.
Because hiring an international student for a full-time position is a costly and time-consuming process, there are many certain companies, especially smaller ones, who cannot afford to sponsor these international students.
Moreover, according to Rose, an international student’s major is also an important factor in securing a job, more so than for domestic students.
Rose stated that for a US visa application to be granted by the U.S. government, the International Student’s major must be tied to their field. International Students are also required to prove that they are more qualified than all the other job applicants in order to be granted visas.