Foreign nationals who are studying in the U.S. are typically granted an F-1 Student Visa. This allows them to live in the U.S. throughout the course of their studies. However, an F-1 visa has its limitations, particularly when it comes to the student’s ability to work.
General Rule: F-1 Students are Not Permitted to Work in the U.S.
As a general rule, students under an F-1 visa status are not permitted to work in the United States. This is the reason immigration requires proof that students are financially able to support their studies, accommodation, and daily necessities before they grant the F-1 visa.
Immigration expects that the students are financially secure and will not need to seek employment or sources of income while studying in the U.S.
Exceptions: CPT or OPT
There are exceptions to the employment prohibition imposed on F-1 student visa holders. These are the CPT and OPT, which are provided by the school where the student is enrolled. Immigration strictly monitors the CPT and OPT, so students under these exceptions should abide by their terms very closely.
What Happens in Case of Unauthorized Employment
Immigration keeps a close eye on students who carry F-1 visas. If it finds unauthorized employment, it can hinder the student’s ability to become eligible for an adjustment of status.
While immigration can forgive cases of unauthorized employment, the chances are slim. It usually only forgives cases that involve a small category of qualified people.
The Importance of Financial Security While on F-1 Student Visa Status
The prohibition of working while on F-1 student visa status is strict, and any violation can have serious consequences. It also applies to dependent family members, who are not given work authorization.
Before they even apply for an F-1 visa, students must make sure that they are able to support themselves financially. They also need to show proof of their financial security so that immigration grants their application and issues them an F-1 student visa.