nationals who enter the United States to pursue educational degrees
are admitted as F-1 nonimmigrants. F-1 nonimmigrants must
be full-time students. While enrolled they do not have authorization
to accept employment off-campus, with some minor exceptions. There
are two basic types of off-campus work authorization available to
F- 1 Visa - business : F-1 visa holder generally you cannot own
a business. A nonimmigrant (F-1 included) generally cannot work,
though there are particular situations when employment can be authorized.
An F-1 student cannot engage in business because there are restrictions
against off campus employment and against unauthorized employment.
F-1 Multiple entry visa : There is a certain risk because the US
Consular official is allowed the discretion under law to refuse
a non visa (such as F-1, B-2, J-1) if she/he suspects that the applicant
intends to permanently reside in the US. There is a presumption
under immigration law that all nonimmigrants are intending immigrants!
Therefore, the burden is on the applicant to negate that presumption
(Matter of Brantigan -- a 1966 case). Appeals to the US State Dept.
in visa denial cases are possible but expensive and time consuming,
and there is no guarantee of success.
F-1 Off Campus Work : You need authorization for off-campus
work. Who may submit attestations? An employer (or the employer's
designated agent or representative) seeking to employ F-1 student(s)
for off-campus work shall submit an attestation on Form ETA-9034.
The attestation shall be signed by the employer (or the employer's
designated agent or representative). For this purpose, the employer's
authorized agent or representative shall mean an official of the
employer who has the legal authority to commit the employer to the
terms and conditions of F-1 student attestations. Attestations
by Employers Using F-1 Students in Off-Campus Work
F-1 Practical Training : There is a 12 month limit on the duration
of Practical Training. Must complete training within 14 months of
graduation. There is an O.I. (Operating Instruction) that any unused
portion of Practical Training cannot be used at a later time unless
"reserved" in accordance with O.I.
F-1 Expiration : Usually F-1 is valid for 60 days after expiration
Information/ School Information/ F-Academic/ M-Vocational Students
Foreign students seeking to study in the U.S. may enter in the F-1
or M-1 category provided they meet the following criteria:
student must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program, a
language-training program, or a vocational program; The school must
be approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS);
student must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution;
student must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses
leading to English proficiency;
The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support
during the entire proposed course of study; and
student must maintain a residence abroad which he/she has no intention
of giving up.
for Approval, Form I-17, must be filed with the district office
with jurisdiction for the the locality where the school is located.
are two types of foreign students, F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrants. A
school may be approved for F and/or M students, However, an individual
student's classification depends on his/her principal educational
Approval for attendance of academic students may be solicited
by an accredited college or university that awards bachelors, masters,
doctorate or professional degrees; an accredited community or junior
college that provides instruction in the liberal arts or the professions
and awards associate degrees; a seminary; a conservatory; an academic
high school; a private elementary school; or an institution that
provides language training, instruction in the liberal arts, the
fine arts or the professions, or instruction in one or more of these
Approval for the attendance of non-academic students may
be solicited by a community college or junior college that provides
vocational or technical training and awards associate degrees; a
vocational high school; a trade school or a school of nonacademic
training other than language training.
INS regulations recognize the following as approved schools: A school
operated as a public educational institution by federal, state,
or local government; and A school accredited by a nationally recognized
an institution of higher education does not fall into one of these
two categories, it must submit evidence that its course credits
are accepted by at least three accredited schools. If a private
elementary or public or private secondary school does not fallinto
one of these two categories, it must submit evidence that it satisfies
the compulsory attendance requirements of the state in which it
is located and that it qualifies graduates for acceptance by approved
schools at a higher educational level, and in the case of a private
elementary or secondary school, that it is accredited by an accrediting
organization, certified by the U.S. Department of Education's Office
of Non-Public Education.
Process Petition for approval (Form
I-17) is filed in duplicate with the district director in the
following requirements must also be met: The
Form I-17 must be signed by an officer of the institution who
has authority to sign contracts. The petitioning school must submit
certification indicating that it is licensed, approved, and/or accredited.
to apply? All applications submitted by schools and institutions
wishing to accept nonimmigrant students, should be mailed to the
"Attention of the INS Schools Officer" at the INS District Office
having jurisdiction over the geographic area in which the institution
STUDENT VISA ABUSERS
alien who obtains the status of a nonimmigrant under section (101)(a)(15)(F)(i)
and who violates a term or condition of such status under section
214(l) is inadmissible until the alien has been outside the United
States for a continuous period of 5 years after the date
of the violation. ( INA 212(a)(6)(G))
L. 104-208 (IIRIRA) added two new provisions which directly affect
foreign students. The intent of this legislation was to prevent
F-1 students from being educated at public expense. Section 346
makes aliens who violate the provisions of INA 214(l) inadmissible
for five years. INA 214(l) prohibits an alien from obtaining student
status to pursue a course of study at a:
Public elementary school or publicly-funded adult education program;
Public secondary school, unless the:
Aggregate period study at such school does not exceed 12 months,
Alien demonstrates reimbursement of the full, unsubsidized per capital
cost of the education.
provisions of INA 212(a)(6)(G) affect only aliens applying for F-1
status after November 30, 1996, or aliens whose status was extended
on or after that date. It does not apply to aliens attending public
schools or programs while in other nonimmigrant status (e.g., F-2,
E, H-4, J, or B--2---even out-of-status B-2).
Schools : An alien may transfer from public to private secondary
school only if they reimburse the school and do not exceed the one-year
time limitation. Nonadherence to these requirements automatically
voids the alien's visa and renders the alien subject to INA 212(a)(6)(G)
as a student abuser. (05-07-1999)
An alien may not be accorded status as a nonimmigrant under section
101(a)(15)(F)(i) in order to pursue a course of study (A) at a public
elementary school or in a publicly funded adult education program;
or (B) at a public secondary school unless (i) the aggregate period
of such status at such a school does not exceed 12 months with respect
to any alien, and (ii) the alien demonstrates that the alien has
reimbursed the local educational agency that administers the school
for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of provided education
at such school for the period of the alien's attendance.
An alien who obtains the status of a nonimmigrant under section
101(a(15)(F)(i) in order to pursue a course of study at a private
elementary or secondary school or in a language training program
that is not publicly funded shall be considered to have violated
such status, and the alien's visa under section 101(a)(15)(F) shall
be void, if the alien terminates or abandons such course of study
at such a school and undertakes a course of study at a public elementary
school, in a publicly funded adult education program, in a publicly
funded adult education language training program, or at a public
secondary school (unless the requirements of paragraph (1)(B) are
by sec. 625 of Pub. L. 104-208, Sept. 30, 1996, effective as to
"individuals who obtain the status of a nonimmigrant under INA 101(a)(15)(F)
after the end of the 60 day period beginning on the date of the
enactment of this Act.
"Public": A public school is any school that receives more than
half of its financing through state or local taxes or through Federal
grants. The definition of "public" can encompass "alternative" or
"charter" schools that allow parents to exercise extensive control
over curriculum. It can also encompass the term "corporate charter
school" applied to schools that have received major grants and land,
buildings, or educational materials from a corporation providing
major employment opportunities in the local area, unless it can
be established that the value of the grant on an ongoing annual
basis exceeds the value of financing from public taxes and grants.
(9 FAM 40.67 N3.4TL:VISA-191; 05-07-1999)
"Publicly-funded Adult Education": INS defines "publicly-funded
adult education" as programs run tuition-free at or in conjunction
with public secondary schools. It does not apply to schools such
as community colleges which receive public funds but charge students
tuition. ( 9 FAM 40.67 N3.4 TL:VISA-191; 05-07-1999)
maintain your legal status in the United States as an international
student or exchange visitor, you must remember these four conditions:
Keep your PASSPORT valid at all times. Consult your country's consulate
or embassy in the US to renew your passport. Embassy web sites:
You must register full-time as a student during the academic year.
Full-time means that as an undergraduate, you must register and
complete at least 12 credits each semester; as a graduate student,
the full-time course load is defined by your school or department.
There are some exceptions to this regulation such as your medical
condition may not allow you to maintain your full-time course load
or in your last semester, you may not need 12 or more credits to
finish your degree.
Apply for EXTENSIONS OF STAY 30 days before the date on your I-20
or IAP-66 expires. Please check your I-20 student copy item #5,
and IAP-66 item #3 for J-1 students and scholars. You need to extend
your program before it expires.
Do not accept off-campus EMPLOYMENT without official permission.
Visa and Immigration Status
is very important to clarify two legal terms in order to fully understand
how to maintain your legal status in the US. People are often confused
about the terms "visa" and "immigration status". "My visa is expired.
How do I get my visa extended?" This can mean several things, depending
on how the term "visa" is used. The following paragraphs explain
the difference between "visa" and "immigration status".
visa stamp in your passport was obtained at a US embassy or consulate
abroad and is used for entering the US. The visa shows the latest
date on which you can apply to enter this country. It does not show
how long you can stay here. When arriving at the US "port of entry,"
the US Immigration inspector examines your passport, your visa,
and your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or IAP-66), and determines
whether you are admissible to the United States. The visa functions
as a key to enter the US. Once you have opened the door and entered,
you do not need to worry about whether your visa is valid or expired.
When you are leaving and need to re-enter the US, you must be sure
that you have a valid key (US visa) for return. Note: Canadian citizens
are not required to have a passport (if entering the US from within
the Western Hemisphere) or visa, but they must show their IAP-66
or I-20 and proof of Canadian citizenship at the US port of entry.
the visa stamp in your passport expires, it is not necessary to
renew it if you will simply stay in the U.S. However, if it has
expired and you wish to travel outside the U.S., Canada, or Mexico,
then it will need to be renewed at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside
the U.S. It cannot be renewed within the U.S.
the immigation inspector determines you are admissible, an immigration
status is granted, which shows on your I-94 card and your I-20 (for
F-1) or IAP-66 (for J-1). Most students have either an F-1 or J-1
student status, or J-1 visiting scholar status. In most situations
your visa type and immigration status are the same, unless you have
changed your immigration status after entering the US. For instance,
some F-1 students change their status to F-2 (the dependent of F-1
student) or to another temporary immigration status.
maintain your legal status in the US, check your visa documents
such as I-20, IAP-66 and I-94 card (not the visa stamp in your passport),
register full-time, and maintain registration as a full-time student.
For F-1 students, check the ending date under item 5 on your I-20
Form. For J-1 students and scholars, check item 3 on your IAP-66
Form, and make sure that you ask for extensions of your program
BEFORE the expiration date on your form.
maintain your legal status in the US, you must have a valid I-20
or IAP-66 Form and register full-time as a student. Sometimes students
finish their studies earlier than the date on their I-20, and think
they have extra time to stay without being registered as a student.
This is incorrect. For F-1 students, once you finish your academic
program, you must either leave the US or apply for Optional Practical
Training within 60 days, no matter what the date is on your I-20.
For J-1 students, you have 30 days to depart, but you must apply
for Academic Training before the end of your program.
a foreign national present in the United States in one nonimmigrant
classification decides to engage in a different primary activity
allowed in another nonimmigrant classification, the foreign national
has two options. S/he can either leave the United States and apply
for a new visa in the new classification at the Consulate abroad,
or s/he can file for a Change of Status through the Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS). In order to be eligible to change
status within the United States, the applicant must have been lawfully
admitted to the US as a nonimmigrant, is continuing to maintain
that status, and is not inadmissible for having been unlawfully
present. A Change of Status must generally be filed before
the applicant's authorized stay expires. The filing of an application
for Change of Status does not extend one's current status, and one
may not assume the new status until it is approved by INS. The applicant
must also qualify for the new classification sought. There are statutory
The Supreme Court of Illinois
does not recognize certifications of specialties in the
practice of law and that the certificate, award or recognition
is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. Illinois
Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule
7.4(c)(2) Adopted February 8, 1990, effective August
1, 1990; amended July 16, 1990; effective August 1, 1990.