Student Immigration

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Depending on your current U.S. immigration status, you may have a number of options. Typically, people come to the United States on the F-1 visa. Upon graduation, an employer offers the graduate a job, and the student changes status from F-1 to H-1b. From there,

The F-1 Visa is issued to students of academic insitutions approved by U.S. immigration. You can only obtain the F-1 visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.

Typically, you cannot study in a college or univeristy if you entered on the B-1/B-2 tourist visa. You need to change your immigration status to F-1 student status if you intend to study in the U.S. Further complications arise in this process since the Trump adminisitration has taken a stricter position on the whole process for an individual to change status from B-1/B-2 to F-1. It is VERY IMPORTANT to speak to an attorney about this before making the change.

For a person who entered without papers or without inspection by an immigration officer, the situation can be complicated. A possibility for a young person under the age of 18, may be Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, but we recommend contacting an attorney to further discuss.

There are several elements that need to be proved. Below is a short list, but depending on the case, immigration may require further evidence.

  • You must be enrolled in an “academic”     educational program, a language-training  program, or a vocational program
  • Your school must be approved by USCIS
  • You  must be enrolled as a full-time student at the
    institution
  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in     courses leading to English proficiency
  • You must have sufficient funds available for  self-support during the entire proposed course of study
  • You must maintain a residence abroad which he/she has no intention of giving up.

You must be a full-time student in order to maintain legal immigration status. A full-time student schedule consists of 12 hours of class per week.

No. Students are  permitted to work on campus. However, F-1 students cannot work off campus, unless they receive special permission.

It depends. Students with science and engineering degrees may have up to 3 years of OPT, while most other students are eligible to work for 1 year under the OPT program.

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