Foreign academic or vocational students in the United States may engage in employment under specific conditions, with employment authorization documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) based on their student status and the nature of the employment.
For vocational students in M-1 nonimmigrant status, employment is permissible only as part of a practical training program following the completion of their course. A Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is required to commence work, with a maximum allowance of six months for practical training. The EAD serves as proof of identity and employment authorization for Form I-9 purposes. Employers should record the EAD information, including the Alien Number (A-Number), EAD card number, and expiration date, under List A in Section 2 of Form I-9.
In contrast, F-1 academic students face restrictions on off-campus employment during the initial academic year. However, they can engage in on-campus employment, subject to specific conditions. After the first academic year, F-1 students become eligible for various off-campus employment programs. Employers conducting Form I-9 verification should refer to the "Authorized to Work Until" date in Section 1 and consider the types of documents provided by F-1 students for employment authorization. This information ensures compliance with immigration regulations governing the employment of foreign students in the United States.