an a U.S. employer legally hire a foreign student?
A: A U.S. employer can legally hire a foreign student who has the necessary employment authorization.
What type of authorization?
A: The most common forms of employment authorization are either a valid, endorsed Form I-20, signed by the Foreign Student Advisor at the student’s educational institution or an “Employment Authorization Card” (INS Form I-688B). There are other valid documents as well. See Form I-9.
How long can the foreign student be employed?
A: For the duration specified on the I-20 or the Employment Card. Employment for the specified duration may be either full-time or part-time, depending on the terms of the endorsement on the Form I-20. An Employment Card generally allows full-time employment. Following the duration of employment specified on the Employment Card or Form I-20, the employer may obtain a work visa for the student which will allow the student to continue working for up to three more years.
Need the employer fill out form I-9?
A: Yes, the employer must fill out form I-9 and comply with the terms of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Note that it is a violation of IRCA for the employer to require only a certain form of work authorization or identification. For example, the employer may not specifically demand only a social security card if the foreign student can present alternative verification of employment eligibility. Form I-9 provides a list of acceptable documents.