Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)
jujubea

Help with student visa questions

56 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, CavityQED said:

Kind of an old thread but I didn't know where else to post this. 

I'm graduating from my undergrad institution this year (Canadian in the US) and will be starting in a PhD program in the fall also in the US. However, I'd like to work in my undergrad lab for a month to 6 weeks after graduation. I was told that I could apply for OPT (but that would cost $410 and take up to 90 days to process--which is around the time I would want to leave). Has anyone been in this situation and have any suggestions for staying in the US and working legally, preferably paid but would consider unpaid?

OPT is the only option I know of that would work for you. You need to get started with the process as soon as possible if you want to be able to work in the summer. Note that it doesn't matter if you work for pay or not, it's considered work either way. You should also consult with the international students office at your school, if you haven't yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CavityQED said:

Kind of an old thread but I didn't know where else to post this. 

I'm graduating from my undergrad institution this year (Canadian in the US) and will be starting in a PhD program in the fall also in the US. However, I'd like to work in my undergrad lab for a month to 6 weeks after graduation. I was told that I could apply for OPT (but that would cost $410 and take up to 90 days to process--which is around the time I would want to leave). Has anyone been in this situation and have any suggestions for staying in the US and working legally, preferably paid but would consider unpaid?

Once you finish your degree requirements, F-1 students have a 60 day grace period to leave the country, unless you apply for OPT to extend the time you want to stay. OPT really sounds like the thing you should be applying for (I agree with everything fuzzy said). Generally you apply for OPT well in advance of starting your work, i.e. typically undergrads apply for OPT in like January or February for post-degree work (as most schools will end in May/June). While you are in OPT processing, you generally should not leave the country. You should definitely consult with your international office ASAP (tomorrow!)

If you are going to finish your degree in May, then this might be really tricky to do. If your school year doesn't end until June then you might still be okay. You cannot start work until you receive your OPT authorization! Note that unpaid/volunteer work is still work---your F-1 status grants you permission to attend school/study in the US, not to work. But if you are finishing in like August or something, then you are probably okay for the timeline.

However, there may be ways for you to make it work out. For example, you might be able to do the work as part of an independent studies course. This might delay your graduation (so probably not ideal) but your school might have some sort of continuing student status for taking courses after your main degree program is finished. Maybe F-1 OPT is fast for Canadians (no experience with this myself). Your international student office would know best and they would be able to give you all the options, so please talk to them ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice! I thought I'd just update you all on an option I figured out with my international office in case anyone is in the same boat in the future. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work on TN status for NAFTA citizens so for any Canadians or Mexicans out there in the same boat this may be a cheaper and more flexible option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, CavityQED said:

Thanks for the advice! I thought I'd just update you all on an option I figured out with my international office in case anyone is in the same boat in the future. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work on TN status for NAFTA citizens so for any Canadians or Mexicans out there in the same boat this may be a cheaper and more flexible option.

Great! Can't believe I forgot about the TN option. I'm glad it all worked out and thanks for coming back with an update that might help others :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello there!  I've been filling out the DS-160 form slowly and I feel like there are a number of questions that make it hard to know what the right answer is!

"Who is paying for your trip?"
a) self
b ) other person
c) other company/org

I am paying for my flight and start-up costs, but the university is covering my tuition and will be paying me a stipend.

Do you know which answer I should choose?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2017 at 0:18 AM, melvina said:

Hello there!  I've been filling out the DS-160 form slowly and I feel like there are a number of questions that make it hard to know what the right answer is!

"Who is paying for your trip?"
a) self
b ) other person
c) other company/org

I am paying for my flight and start-up costs, but the university is covering my tuition and will be paying me a stipend.

Do you know which answer I should choose?

 

This question was actually discussed here:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now