Are you one of these people?
- You want to get a master degree but can not afford the costs.
- You want to get US work experience so you are a stronger candidate.
- You are interested in H1b but have not been able to get an employer to sponsor you.
- You did get sponsorship, but then did not win the H1b lottery.
A solution to each of these situations is to join a US work and study program. With a work study option, you are legally allowed to work in curricular practical training (CPT), earning US dollars, while you study. Not only can you can gain valuable US work experience, but you will also earn a master degree. This makes you a strong candidate in this global competitive market. If you are interested in long term employment in the US, this will also increase your odds of getting the H1b visa. I will explain this more in a bit.
What is Work Study?
Work Study is a legal option for international students to be employed in US based companies. Students who want to work in full-time, PAID, employment, can do so by participating in a Curricular Practical Training while studying for their master degree. Students work during the day and take classes in the evenings or weekends. The purpose of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is to integrate real-life employment training with a student's education. This CPT option is designed to give students practical work experience, while allowing them to earn money to pay for their living and educational expenses.
How H1 works:
In order to get your H1b you will need to find an employer to sponsor you. Sponsorship means the employer offers you employment and then petitions the government to allow you to work for them. The employers must prove to the government that they need you because they are not able to find an American to fill the position. This means you need to have a minimum of a bachelor degree, as well as have a specialty career, such as computer programming, network security, IT, or engineering.
Why is it so difficult to find a sponsor when you are not in the US?
It is hard to find sponsorship outside the US because employers:
- Need assurance that the candidate understands the US employment culture,
- Need to check that the candidate understands and speaks English at a professional ability,
- Prefer candidate to have quality US references, and
- Want to conduct a personal interview face to face.
There are many qualified candidates who are already in the US for whom these employers can choose from.
How can work study help me get sponsorship?
Through a work study option you can legally work in a US based company while you are earning your master degree. Not only does the work option of these programs help pay for your educational expenses, but it also gives you US work experience. In addition, you will have a US master degree, making you a strong candidate.
How does a work study option increase my chances of getting h1b?
Getting an employer sponsorship is only half the battle. As you probably already know, getting the H1b is a lottery system. There are a total of 85,000 h1b spots available each year. There are many more applicants than there are available spots. In 2015 there were 220,000 applications to fill those 85,000 spots. However, obtaining a US master degree can help increase your chances. Not only does a US master degree make it easier for you to find an employer to sponsor you, but it also increases the odds of you winning the visa lottery. This is because the first 20,000 of the 85,000 are reserved for candidates with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Based on econweekly, the probability of getting a work visa in the US is 80.4% for US master degree holders, and 45.5% for the rest of the applicants.
Overview of Work-study Opportunities
Example of companies that have hired work study students