Many foreign students enrolled at universities in the United States consider the possibility of staying and working in the US after their degree. After completing their studies, foreign students can apply for an OPT (Optional Practical Training) granted they have a relevant position with an employer willing to hire them. This popular program is regarded as a stepping stone for foreign students who want US citizenship.
With remote employment on the rise world-wide, a new way of doing OPT in the US has gained popularity, OPT using an Employer of Record (EOR). Using this approach, a company outside of the US can hire a foreign graduate undertaking OPT through the use of a local Employer of Record provider. The Employer of Record will be the US legal entity of record and act as the employer for the OPT employee on behalf of the overseas company who will manage the OPT employee directly.
What is an Employer of Record?
An employer of record (EOR) is a service that provides overseas companies with an employer entity to hire workers in the United States. The employer of record takes on the administrative responsibilities and legal liabilities associated with the employer-employee relationship, including employer tax filings, payroll processing and other related activities. This allows companies to focus on their core business while having assurance that they are compliant with all relevant U.S. employment laws.
Employers can also take advantage of EORs when expanding into new markets as it eliminates the need to create a separate corporate entity for each location or country. By outsourcing these employer tasks to an experienced provider, businesses can reduce costs and grow without worrying about compliance matters. An employer of record also provides access to talent, as EORs can help companies find qualified workers in the U.S. and provide employer-related services such as employee benefits and payroll processing. Ultimately, an employer of record helps businesses expand globally with confidence.
Using an EOR, an OPT candidate can, in many cases, work within the United States for an overseas company. The local EOR service provider would act as the employer of record for compliance purposes. That is to say that the employer of record would sign the relevant OPT paperwork for the recent graduate and be the US-based entity the recent graduate works under according to US law.
What is OPT (Optional Practical Training)?
OPT (Optional Practical Training) is a program that enables foreign graduates of US universities to gain valuable work experience in the United States, while applying their knowledge and skills acquired during their studies. OPT is an optional training period lasting up to 12 months (extended OPT can be granted for another 24 months) for students who have graduated with a degree from a SEVP-certified school. OPT gives international students the opportunity to gain real-world experience and better prepare them for professional success in their chosen field.