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Can one work in the U.S. with a student visa?

Many foreigners come to Illinois every year. While some of these individuals are just visitors on vacation, others seek to come to America for education and work opportunities. For those relocating to the U.S. for higher education, a student visa will be necessary. Depending on what a student plans to do while they are in school and if they seek to later work in the U.S., the type of student visa he or she gets will determine what a student can do while they are in school.

Can one work in the U.S. with a student visa? This answer will depend on the type of student visa obtained. There are two types of student visas available, F-1 and M-1. The requirements for either of these include being enrolled in an academic educational program, a language-training program or a vocational program, at an approved school, a full-time student, be proficient in English or enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency, have sufficient funds an must maintain a residence abroad.

A F-1 visa allows a student to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited university, college, seminary, conservatory, high school, elementary school or any other academic school or language training program. Additionally, the student must be enrolled in a school or program that will result in a degree diploma or a certificate. Students with a F-1 visa are not allowed to work off-campus for their first academic year. After the first year, they may engage in three types of employment. This includes curricular practical training, optional practical training and STEM optional training extension.

Other the other hand, a M-1 visa is for student in vocation or nonacademic programs, excluding language training. These students are allowed to engage in practical training only after he or she has completed their studies. For both F-1 and M-1 students, any off-campus work must be related to their area of study. Additionally, it must be authorized prior to beginning any work.

If one is currently a student in the U.S. on a student visa or seeks to enter the U.S. on a student visa, it is important to understand all the stipulations that go along with it. This includes the ability to work while in the country. Those dealing with this or any other immigration concerns should take the time to understand their situation and how best to resolve it

Source: USCIS.gov, "Students and Employment," accessed on Jan. 27, 2018

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