Business Immigration: Three Reasons to Consider Hiring F-1 Students

When running a business it is absolutely essential to hire on the right people to ensure each job gets done correctly.  Finding and retaining talent is arguably the most important function for many businesses and organizations.

One great option for many companies is to consider hiring “F-1 students.”   The F-1 student is a student who is in this country completing their education.  Once they have obtained their desired degree, they have the option to remain in the United States, as long as they find employment in the field of their degree by simply having the I-20 form completed and an employment authorization card in-hand.

Businesses enjoy many benefits of hiring these highly motivated students, including the following:

1. Training Period – An F-1 student completing Optional Practical Training generally is provided up to 12 months to remain in the U.S. and work.  An employer can utilize this time to work with the F-1 student to ensure that the student is a match for the position and that the student is a solid long-term hire.

2. Limited Liability – Employers who hire F-1 students have virtually no liability for the process.  The student has to complete the vast majority of the paperwork, keep a positive employment status and meet employer expectations.  If the company determines that the student is a solid long-term hire, then the company can consider sponsoring the student for an H-1B (or other employment-authorizing nonimmigrant status) to maintain that student’s employment beyond the expiration of the Optional Practical Training.

3. Extremely Low Cost – The cost of hiring F-1 students is very low compared to hiring other candidates.  An employer, during the Optional Practical Training period, does not have to submit any paperwork, provide sponsorship, or outlay any fees to the USCIS.  In this way, the 12 month period is at a minimal cost to the employer.

The entire process is set up to be as easy as possible for employers because it is in the best interest of the United States to encourage these students to remain in the country.  These are typically highly educated and motivated students, and they often perform exceptionally well for the companies that hire them.

If you are interested in hiring an F-1 student but have questions about the process, I would be glad to discuss it with you. Please contact me today to learn more!