I am applying for full time jobs in the United States, being a student from India on the F1 visa. I had the following questions during the application processes (on various job portals):

  1. Is your current work authorization limited to practical training?

  2. Select one of the following (it is basically a drop-down):
    i. I am authorized to work for any employer in the US;
    ii. I require employer sponsorship to obtain work authorization in the country
    iii. My authorization to work in the US is unknown.

What kind of authorization are they talking about? I am a normal student (no criminal records, etc.) from India, currently in the US and applying for jobs. My OPT starts soon in June.


The general questions which most employers ask are:
1. Are you authorized to work in the US? I answer "Yes";
2. Will you now or in the future require a visa sponsorship to continue working? I again answer "Yes".

But, I don't know what to answer for the questions earlier (because they seem like a combination of the above two questions).

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  • 1
    As far as I can tell, they're asking about any authorization. I suspect that if you're in OPT you'd have to say "yes" to "limited to practical training," but unfortunately I don't know the rules for F-1 students, so I can't actually answer your question. I'm fairly confident that someone here will be able to. – phoog Mar 24 '18 at 1:40
  • @phoog, I hope so, too. A lot of tier 1 companies are asking these kinda questions... I don't wanna miss out on opportunities just because I answered these questions incorrectly. Personally, they are very important to me (and to other fellows). – J. Doe Mar 24 '18 at 1:46
  • @phoog, also, first question is kinda alright.. What about the second one (with the drop down)? – J. Doe Mar 24 '18 at 1:47

I am not sure what they mean by "limited to practical training". OPT (Optional Practical Training) is practical training, so I guess you would say "yes", but it is not really any more "limited" than any other work authorization except that you can only work in a job in your major field.

As for the second one, I would say "I am authorized to work for any employer in the US". When on OPT, you are free to work for any employer (or start your own company) without any specific sponsorship (again, as long as the job is in your major field).

  • Right, but what about the second option in the second question, I require employer sponsorship to obtain work authorization in the country? What does that mean? – J. Doe Mar 24 '18 at 19:02
  • @J.Doe: For example, H1b, L1, O1, etc. need to be petitioned by the employer before you can get that status. – user102008 Mar 24 '18 at 20:06
  • Then isn't point 2 valid too? – J. Doe Mar 24 '18 at 20:48
  • @J.Doe: You are working on OPT and you don't need the employer to do anything special to be able to work for them on OPT, so you don't need sponsorship to work right now. – user102008 Mar 24 '18 at 21:43

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