International students struggle to find employment | F-1 Visa

International students have F1 visas, which allow them to study, but not work in America. International students are limited to on-campus graduate student assistant jobs for a maximum of 20 hours per week.

American Bazaar, an online news portal reported that Indian students studying in the US contribute $3.6 billion to the American economy, according to Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange released on Monday.

The report also reveals that the number of Indians studying in the US rose by 29.4% this year, which is the highest rate of growth in the history.

From 102,673 students enrolled in US institutions in 2013-14, the number rose to 132,888 in 2014-15, the data showed.

“Last year, Indian students in US colleges and universities contributed USD 3.6 billion to the US economy,” the report said, citing figures from the US Department of Commerce. International students’ spending in all 50 states contributed more than $30 billion to the US.

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After graduation, most students are eligible for optional practical training, which enables them to work in the United States for 12 months in their field of study. There’s also the curricular practical training option, which allows international students to have an internship or similar experience for up to three months in their field of study. Other than that, international students cannot work off campus.

One difficulty international students run into is employers that think they don’t want to go through the process of sponsoring an international student.

International students in STEM fields may qualify for an additional 17 months in the U.S., she said.

At the end of their practical training, the student can try to apply for an H1B visa and be directly hired by the company, though a limited amount of those visas are issued each year.


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