Startups looking to hire recent grads on STEM OPT on a student visa.
If your startup wants to hire the best talent coming out of top universities regardless of U.S. citizenship, you will have to become an E-Verify employer. E-verify is an online system provided by the federal government that confirms an applicant’s ability to work legally in the U.S. You enter the employee’s I-9 form, and it checks their authorization status instantly and at no cost.
This will allow your startup to recruit the best talent coming out of U.S. Universities. Recent graduates with non-STEM degrees can work for 12 months and recent graduates with STEM degrees can work for a total of 36 months. Three years is a long time in startup life, and by the time the three year period is up, your startup might be in a place to sponsor H-1B visas. You also get multiple chances in the H-1B lottery during the 3-year period for STEM grads.
You can enroll online, and the process is pretty low lift.
Students on F-1 visas who will be graduating and would like to work in the U.S. after graduation.
All students can apply for OPT for 12 months, and students with a STEM degree can get an additional 24 months with a STEM extension for 3 years total. An employer has to be E-Verified to hire students on OPT.
Post-completion OPT: (get this first, then apply for an extension later on)
Hard Deadline: “You must apply within 30 days of your DSO entering the recommendation for OPT into your SEVIS record” (USCIS 2019)
Earliest: 90 days before you complete your degree
Latest: 60 days after you complete your degree
Hard Deadline: “Must apply within 60 days of your DSO entering the recommendation for OPT into your SEVIS record” (USCIS 2019)
Earliest: 90 days before your current OPT employment authorization expires
Latest: You must apply before your current OPT status expires. It doesn’t have to be approved before the expiration date, but the application must be submitted.