For many international students with F1 visa status, finding employment outside of their educational institution may be difficult. Under special conditions are international students granted and allowed to work off camps, due to U.S Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) rules and regulations. However, students holding an F1 student visa have total access to on-campus employment in any university with no permission from USCIS.
Finances for international students are always a big issue, thus, bringing us to the issue of finding a job and how to abide by all laws set by The U.S Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). We turn to the institution(s) that you might be seeking to attend, for steps, hints, and tricks to assist you in finding employment:
Contact Your Designated School Official
The school designates an official who normally assists International students during registration process. This official will relate everything about employment opportunities that are available to students with F1 visa status. The International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) ease your troubles of having to be frustrated due to lack of information. The ISSO also will help you apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) which will allow you to work both on campus and off. Note that, working off campus still requires an exceptional approval to do so. Ask an ISSO official.
Preparing Personal Marketing Skills
Employers prefer a single page cover letter and résumés as opposed to a multiple page résumé. Your résumé should highlight your work experience, educational experience, and key objectives for the anticipated position. International Students therefore need to have the know-how, as to marketing themselves and their skills. Employers want a student who delivers with apt responsibility and complete focus. Seek help from your institutions library or writing center for résumé help and composition.
Enhance Your Communication Skills
During lectures, the participation of the student could be one small way to help aid his/her communication skills, which could help to boost their confidence when speaking with others. If need be, taking communication classes and public speaking classes could go a long way to helping the student deliver when finding a job. Good communication skills are very essential to the student towards getting a job.
Know How & When To Address Your Visa Status
During job application and interview, it is advisable and wise to mention the status of your visa because of the regulations made by the USCIS. During an interview when asked if you are eligible as a student to work in the U.S., you could answer that you are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) however the case may pertain to your situation, after which you would need to be sponsored.
Understanding Rules And Regulations
The more knowledge the student has on the visa status or immigration rules, the more confident the student feels when asked in an interview about their eligibility to work. Awareness of the rules allows the student to stay within their regulations, and avoid any trouble with immigrations services.
Just as it is advisable to contact the International Student Service Office (ISSO), it is also advisable to start plans from the Student Career Development Center (SCDC) on campus. They (SCDC) can give more general information on current openings, and inform you of any restrictions you might have, along with answering general questions. This office has a lot of experience in dealing with International Students and will help the student learn about current positions on campus they might qualify for, and possibly, help the student through the application process. Utilize the free resources around you, and be sure to ask as many questions as possible.
Trying to find a job with a student visa can be challenging; some employers have high measures towards hiring non-citizens, and at times it may seem like finding a job is the hardest job to do. Remain resilient, and irrepressible. Many international students have graced their occasions through these.
Approach Prospective Employers
If you have received a notification from a prospective employer regarding an interview date; prepare yourself for the interview. Failure to appropriately prepare could lead to a loss of a great opportunity. Practice behavioral interview questions and learn the professional way to introduce yourself. Give a good first impression, exude confidence, and assert yourself appropriately.
In summary, as an International student, it is required of you not to get involved in any form of illegal or unauthorized employment as you have more to lose if such an act is carried out. One sure way to avoid any trouble or confusion is to keep abreast of the USCIS policies in place. Coordinate with on campus resources to ensure you are able to take advantage of all resources within.