Can an Indian student work while studying in the US?

Yes, you can! You read it right. Many Indians who go to the United States to pursue any desired degree might often face problems due to a lack of money. Therefore, many of the Indian students wish to make some extra bucks in order to manage their expenses without having to depend on their parents or guardians.

However, it is quite a tedious task for an Indian to find himself/herself a job in the US in comparison to a US citizen. This is because employers usually hesitate to recruit international students and prefer students residing in their own native country.

Why do Indian students face this problem?

There are several reasons for the US employers not to hire Indian/foreign students, including the fact that there might be some issues with regard to their visas, or they could tend to quit the job within a short period of time due to the completion of their respective course. Additionally, they are often quite concerned about linguistic differences because foreigners may not be as fluent as US students. 

Despite these issues, an Indian student can indeed find employment in the US by not giving up hope and applying to multiple firms. It is necessarily important to keep trying and to keep contacting the concerned employers and communicate well with them in order to be in their good books. Also, make use of the resources provided by your school or university, and contact any professors who will help you. It’s not impossible for an Indian student to find a job in the US, but it’s not a cakewalk either. Here are a few handy things that may help you simplify the task.Factors to be considered for an Indian student to find a job in the US

  • In order to be eligible to work while studying in the US, it is a necessity that the student is enrolled in any of the Student and Exchange Visitors Programme and Immigration & Customs Enforcement approved US institution.
  • The work opportunities available to you will also depend on the type of student visa category that your country allots you. These categories include F-1 student visa (for a full-time course), M-1 student visa (for vocational or non-academic programs), and J-1 exchange visitor visa (for participation in specific educational or cultural exchange program).
  • In the majority of cases, international students are required to possess an F-1 or M-1 visa in order to pursue any job. However, the students are restricted to work only on-campus or any training programs in the first academic year. These often include working in the student center, university library, or even in the cafeteria. A key point here is that you can’t ascertain securing a work opportunity just because you have an F-1 visa in place.
  • Finding employment off-campus is only permitted after the student completes his/her mandatory first academic year.
  • The Form I-201D must be authorized by the DSO, or you should have received Form I-766 or EAD (Employment Authorisation Document) from USCIS. These will allow you to be an approved employee in the US while studying.
  • The off-campus employment that you seek will be given under your F-1 or M-1 visa only and must be reasonably relevant to the field of your course. However, merely obtaining an F-1 visa won’t suffice the entire requirement set for acquiring a decently paying job. Thus, it’s pivotal to be proactive about numerous determining aspects during research.

Additionally, the Designated School Official (DSO) and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) need to authorize the off-campus employment that you are willing to take up.