Recent Graduates

ACCELERATE YOUR CAREER

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  • Learn to navigate the challenging immigration landscape as you build your career in the US.

  • Engage with other international students to learn how they manage situations/circumstances like your own.

  • Form long-lasting connections that will serve you well in the future, no matter what country you find yourself in.

  • Share your story and experiences to help guide other students.

  • Sign up to mentor an international student.

Visit the current students' page for information on Graduate school and Job applications

WORK AUTHORIZATION

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You'll need work authorization in the form of an employment authorization document (EAD) to legally work in the United States after you graduate.

Below is a list of common forms of work authorization provided to international students graduates

1. Post-completion OPT
2. STEM OPT
3. H1-B Visa
4. Employer-sponsored green card
5. Other immigrant and non-immigrant visa options

Post-completion
OPT

OPT post-graduation requires that:
  • OPT work must be full time (40 hours a week)
  • All OPT must be completed within 14 months after completion of your degree
  • Applications for post-completion OPT must be received by USCIS before completing your degree.
Note: If you leave the country after completing your degree, BUT before receiving your EAD and obtaining a job, you may not be readmitted into the U.S. 
Students who have graduated with a STEM-related degree can also request an additional 24 months of OPT.

Here
 is a list of STEM-designated degree programs. For more information visit ICE.gov

STEM
OPT

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Students in STEM OPT are required to adhere to the following reporting requirements:
 
  • 6 months: STEM Validation
  • 12 months: Annual Evaluation & STEM Validation
  • 18 months: STEM Validation
  • 24 months: Final Evaluation and STEM Validation
Be sure to contact your Designated School Official to learn more.
No more than 120 days of unemployment

H1-B Visa

Commonly referred to as the "work visa" or "person in specialty occupation visa." It is meant for individuals in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty or its equivalent.
 
  • Initially granted for up to three years, but can be renewed for six years.

  • Non-profits, research, and educational institutions can secure H1-Bs not subject to the yearly quota of 85000.

  • Petitioned by an employer on behalf of the international employee.

  • Employers submit registrations during a registration period from March 1 - 20 for a fee of $10.

  • USCIS conducts a lottery of all registrations received and notifies employers of which candidates have been selected. 

  • Employers have 90 days beginning April 1 to file a complete H1-B petition on behalf of their selected beneficiaries. 

  • NOTE:  For students on OPT, the employer will need to file a complete H1-B petition with a change of status requesting an employment start date of October 1 before the OPT period ends for the OPT work authorization to be extended through September 30.

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For detailed information about employer-sponsored green card applications, read this DOCUMENT that captures the steps, time, and monetary costs incurred in the process

Green Card

TOP 100 H1-B SPONSOR COMPANIES IN 2022

TOP 100 GREEN CARD SPONSOR COMPANIES IN 2022

OVERVIEW OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN APPLICATION
 
IMMIGRANT AND NON-IMMIGRANT VISA OPTIONS
 
 
 

O-VISA

The O-Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1 visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.


 
Note: Under the F-1 Visa, international students are not allowed to operate a business. However, they are permitted to become passive investors or partners in a U.S startup. 
OPT allows international students to operate a business related to their field of study but only lasts for one year.
 
Under the H1-B Visa program, an international student is barred from holding a majority stake in their company but is allowed to work in the U.S. for 3 years. 
Please consult your designated school official or an immigration lawyer before starting a venture in the U.S.

Learn more about INVESTOR VISAS (E-2 Visa)

U.S. STOCKS AND BONDS

The best investing apps for international students may require an F-1 visa, a social security number, an account at a US-based bank, or a permanent U.S .address. Be sure to check with each to determine requirements. Top suggestions are:

  • Robinhood

  • WeBull

  • Fidelity

  • TD Ameritrade

  • Charles Schwab

ENTREPRENEURSHIP & PASSIVE INCOME

Other sources of passive income
  1. Rent out a room.
  2. Investing in the US stock market.
  3. Enter competitions that offer cash prizes.
  4. Write manuscripts to submit to other countries.
  5. Consider volunteering opportunities with incentives/ rewards.

GOING BACK HOME

ANY travel by an F-1 student post-graduation is risky because you MUST show intent to return to your home country
 If you choose to travel, you will need:
  • Endorsed I-20
  • Valid Visa
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Employment letter
 
Note: Travel after applying for H-1B but before approval is not advised
When deciding to return home permanently, international students should consider an L-1 Visa.
  • The L-1 nonimmigrant visa allows certain foreign nationals to temporarily transfer to the U.S/ branch office, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of a multinational company

The L-1 visa comes with several advantages, including:

  • “Dual intent” for green card applications

  • No annual limit on visa issuance per fiscal year

  • No educational requirements

  • The possibility for blanket petitions

  • No Labor Condition Application requirement



 

L-1 Visa

Other Alternatives

Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, Australia
E treaty investor/trader working for companies owned by citizens of your country in the United States
Re-enroll in full-time study (F-1 or J-1)
Consult qualified immigration specialist



 

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