Hiring International Students
International students are eligible to work in the United States as summer interns with no additional expense or work on your part. The only requirement from your firm is an offer letter stating employment dates, location of employment, and description of employment duties. There is no requirement that US citizen applicants be recruited for intern positions before international applicants.
Most international students to complete a US degree are eligible for 12 to 18 months of employment in the United States for "practical or academic training" experience under a student visa. It is not necessary for students to change their visa status for a full-time job under this type of employment, and no action is required on your part to enable students with the student visa to start work immediately. The student will have an Employment Authorization Document as proof of employability.
With the H–1B or Temporary Worker visa application, international students are eligible for up to an additional six years of employment in the United States with your firm. The employee and employer apply for the H–1B for an initial three years of professional employment. The H–1B requires the employee to continue working for the company that petition for the H–1B. After the initial three-year period, the visa may be extended for another three years.
Application for the H–1B is made by the employer through the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services a few months before practical training expires. An approved labor condition application from the Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service must be obtained first.
It is possible and not uncommon for employers to want to retain a recent graduate pass the time allowed by the H–1B visa. One of the several options available is for you to make an application to the Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service for permanent resident status on the employers behalf. This is an involved process that requires expert legal advice.
More information about H–1B visas can be found on the International Program's Office website. Employers are encouraged to consult the University of Arkansas's international programs office at 479-575-5003, if assistance is needed with this process.