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F1 Student Visa; How to Maximize Employability (STEMs)

Posted: June 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Earlier this week there was an article on certain bills brought before the US Congress concerning US student visa laws.  This is a follow-up to that article.  This article explains what STEM majors are and why they are.

It is difficult to find employment in the USA with an F1 Student Visa.  US Immigration Law restricts the kinds of gainful activities an F1 student visa holder can pursue.  This makes it hard for foreign students to support themselves while they are studying.  But there are some exceptions.  An F1 student visa holder can work off campus after the first year of study if that work falls into 3 categories:

  • Curricular Practical Training
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

What this means is that in order for an F1 student to qualify for employment, that employment has to be related to the student’s major.  It also has  to be approved by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

Now this is important.  If you are an F1 student visa holder and you want to work, certain majors qualify for longer periods of work than others.  Here is a list of F1 Student Majors with Better Chances of Employment.  If you pursue them you could qualify for up to 29 months of employment while still under an F1 student visa.  We highly recommend you consider pursuing these majors.  Not only are they in high demand but they can help you support yourself better while you study.

We especially recommend Math, Medical Informatics, Business Statistics, Actuarial Science, Management Science and Quantitative Methods.

Good luck F1 Students in pursuit of your studies!

I-601 Waiver: New Rules

Posted: June 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I-601 Waiver Rules Updated. Eases Application Process

English: The logo of U.S. Citizenship and Immi...

English: The logo of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (English) Español: El logotipo del Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (Inglés) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The I-601 Waiver processing rules are being updated. New rules that would go into effect at the end of the year are bringing hope to many foreign nationals who want to resolve their status.

Many foreign nationals enter the US without inspection or overstay their visa.  They live here for some time and decide to resolve their status by applying for a green card.  Under the current rules, entry without inspection or overstay of a visa are grounds for ineligibility for a green card.  The applicant has to return to their country of origin and await a decision there.  If denied the green card they must remain in their home country for up to 10 years before they can reapply.  The only recourse is to file for an I-601 waiver which would forgive the 10-yr penalty.  Previously the applicant still had to return to their country of origin to apply for an I-601.  This created much uncertainty and hardship for US citizens or legal permanent residents who were relatives of the ineligible applicant.

Now the USCIS has proposed new rules regarding the I-601 waiver process.  Coming soon an applicant  might be able to apply for an I-601 waiver from within the United States.  To get an I-601 waiver the applicant has to prove that their absence would cause significant hardship for a relative, spouse, or fiance who is a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.  When approved by USCIS the applicant can then go to a U.S. Consulate in their country of origin to complete the Green Card process routinely—without fear that the waiver will be denied.

Before an applicant can file for the I-601 waiver, he or she has to be approved as an immediate family member of a US citizen or legal permanent resident by the USCIS.  In order to be approved the applicant’s family members have to file a Family Petition, or Form I-130, for them.

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm urges all qualified immediate relatives to file the Family Petition as soon as possible.  Processing time is still only a few months at the moment, but a huge backlog is foreseen when the Provisional Family Waiver program begins—expected toward the end of the year.

Fiance’s, spouses, parents and children age 17 or younger are qualified to seek the I-601 provisional waiver for their unlawful presence.  The only grounds against their case which would be waived are illegal entry and overextension of stay.  Other grounds such as conviction for serious crimes or a drug conviction will not be waived by the I-601 wiaver