WORKING IN THE U.S. & VISA TYPES

International students can only work in the U.S. after receiving the proper authorization and with certain restrictions. Working in the U.S. without proper authorization is a serious violation of immigration policy and can lead to deportation.

IMPORTANT: If you are considering any type of employment in the U.S., first consult with the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office in Schleman Hall.

Before working in the U.S., all students must first obtain a U.S. social security number for employment and taxation purposes. Check with ISS on how to apply for a social security card. 

IMMIGRATION STATUS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

  • Be aware of deadlines and expiration dates.
  • Know the rules/regulations of YOUR legal status.
  • Provide all needed documents promptly to the employer.
  • Track the process of your application.
  • DO NOT think a problem will just "work itself out."
  • DO NOT believe what your read in chatrooms.
  • DO NOT take advice from non-ISS faculty/staff about your immigration status. 

VISA TYPES

Below is basic information regarding F-1, J-1 and H-1B visas. For more detailed information, please contact the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office located in Schleman Hall, Room 136.
***For all employment opportunities, international students MUST contact ISS.

F-1 STUDENTS

Practical Training (PT), which is employment for one academic year related to academic field of study, is available to F-1 students who have completed one full-time academic year. There are three types of PT. Details and guidelines for each can be found by visiting http://www.iss.purdue.edu/Current/F1/Employment.cfm

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • OPT S.T.E.M. Extension

J-1 STUDENTS

Academic Training (AT) is available to J-1 Students and MUST be related to the curricular area of study. AT is available for a total of 18 months and J-1 students who obtain a Ph.D. may obtain an additional 18 months of AT employment. Details and guidelines for AT can be found by visiting http://www.iss.purdue.edu/Current/J1/Employment.cfm

H-1B EMPLOYMENT

F-1 or J-1 degree-holders (B.S., M.S. or Ph.D.) may be eligible for continued employment in H-1B status. H-1B applications are the sponsoring employer's responsibility. Petitions for H-1B employment may be requested for up to 6 years. Students can not apply on their own behalf. Details and guidelines for H-1B employment can be found by visiting http://www.iss.purdue.edu/FacultyStaff/H1B/Overview.cfm

Find your way to a green card! (Flowchart)

ONLINE RESOURCES

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VISA STATUS?

The anxiety of being out-of-work is a substantial encumbrance. But along with the pressure of a job interview with American organizations, international students struggle with their visa status.

  • Only apply to positions that are applicable to your visa status: It is imperative that you don’t spend time pursuing American organizations and government agencies that exclusively hire United States citizens.
  • Extensively equip yourself with details of your visa status before the interview: Be informed about all the particulars concerning your work eligibility in the United States.
  • Respond to every question concerning your visa status in a direct, clear and assured manner: Any hesitance or extra elaboration might distract the employer from the true purpose of the interview, which is to focus on your skills and qualifications. The employer may unnecessarily contemplate the decision to hire you.
  • Introducing your visa status to recruiters is entirely up to you: Discussing your visa status with employers is not a requirement. However, if the employer addresses any questions regarding your work eligibility during the interview, answer the questions in an explicit and concise manner.