Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers: Tips for International Students

Many foreign nationals completing their studies wish to remain and work in the United States. Often, successful internship opportunities lead to employment offers for graduating students. While this is great news for recent graduates desiring to stay in the U.S., navigating the immigration process can be challenging for both individuals and the companies looking to hire them.

Philadelphia immigration lawyers offer some tips for international students hoping to work in the United States:

  1. Choose a major that is in high demand

Currently, the demand for workers in the information technology and computer science fields is high. By selecting to specialize in one of these fields, you will increase your employment opportunities in the U.S.

  1. Choose your internships wisely

Students should apply for internships at companies already familiar with the work-visa process. That way, you will network with employers and co-workers already accustomed to employing immigrants. Additionally, if there are current employees that have gone the same international student-to-employee route you hope to travel, you will be able to learn from their experience.

  1. Get to know the application process

Students should become very familiar with the different visa opportunities open to international students and have the requirements for an application prepared.

  1. Use your campus resources and connections

Students should utilize services provided by their school’s International Students Office and Career Development Center. These professionals can help guide you through the employment process and help you to understand the work-visa process. Also, it is important to understand that many employment opportunities come from relationships developed through networking with fellow students and alumni organizations. Therefore, take advantage of opportunities to become engaged and involved in campus life.

  1. Be sure to apply early

For current international students, two of the most popular ways to remain in the United States is through the F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Visa and the H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa. Students can extend their F-1 visa status for up to a year through the OPT program. In order to qualify for the OPT program, students must have an employment opportunity in their field of study and apply months prior to graduating in order to have everything ready in time to start working within 60 days of graduation. Students graduating in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) field of study, may be eligible to extend their OPT time for an additional 2 years. The H-1B visa allows those working in a “specialty occupation” to work for a company for up to three years at a time for a maximum of six years during which the company can begin sponsorship for the green card process. Students need to be sponsored by a company and have earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin,P.C. Assist Students Applying for Work Visas

Navigating the visa application process can be confusing and overwhelming. Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can help make the process easier and less complicated. If you or a loved one is in need of legal representation for any aspect of immigration law, complete our online contact form or call us today at 215-925-4435 for a confidential consultation.