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Major: International Business
Status: Light Keeper

A person with strange ideas in my head and strange feelings in my heart...

Visa Issues: Changing Status
Andy Neo

Stay Duration in the United States
You are allowed to stay in the United States for as long as you are enrolled as a full-time student in an educational program and making normal progress toward completing your course of study. If approved, you also will be allowed to stay in the country up to twelve additional months beyond the completion of your studies to pursue practical training. At the end of your studies or practical training, you will be given sixty days to prepare to leave the country.
Extension of Stay as a Student in the United States
You do not need to apply to extend your stay in the United States as long as you are maintaining your student status and making normal progress toward completing your academic course of study. The designated school official (DSO) from your school will write down a completion date on your INS Form I-20 A-B (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - for Academic and Language Students). Under normal circumstances, you should be able to complete your studies by this date. If you need to extend your stay for compelling academic or medical reasons, then you and the designated school official (DSO) should fill out INS Form I-538(Certification By Designated School Official) and send it to the INS student data center at least 30 days before the completion date listed on INS Form I-20 A-B.
Work Permit
You may be allowed to work on-campus or off-campus (after the completion of your first year of study) under limited circumstances. You may also wish to discuss employment with the designated school official (DSO) at your school. Your accompanying spouse and child may not accept employment.
Working On Campus
Many colleges do offer work-study programs to foreign students. These jobs usually entail manning a help desk, working at the library, or maybe even mowing the campus lawns. Payment for these jobs is generally low, but every dollar can help when it comes time to buy another textbook or if you plan on eating more than microwave popcorn nightly!
Foreign students are limited to working 20 hours a week, on or off-campus (although off-campus requires special authorization and is available only after the first academic year ó see below), so you should not depend on work to provide you with much money during the school year. During holidays and school vacation, however, a foreign student with the proper paperwork can work an unlimited number of hours on-campus, so you may be able to earn a significant amount over the summers.
Working Off-Campus
As a foreign student, finding work off-campus in the United States is not an option at first, but once you have spent a year in the United States you may be eligible for a special student work permit that allows you to work off-campus.
After you have been studying in the United States for a year, go to the International Studentís Office at your school or to the schoolís Registrarís Office, and they can give you the necessary forms to apply to work off campus. Only the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can grant you permission, but your school can help you apply.
If you are approved, you will still be limited to working no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session, although you may work full-time during holidays or school vacation. Being able to work off-campus during the summers not only helps with money, but also allows you the opportunity to accumulate valuable work experience while you are still a student.
A Work Permit Based on Severe Economic Need:
F-1 students are eligible to apply for off-campus employment based on severe economic hardship provided that:
they are in good standing and carrying a full course of study;
they can demonstrate unforeseen severe economic hardship;
employment opportunities on campus are unavailable or
they have been in F-1 status for one academic year; and
acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's
carry a full course of study.


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