What is a Student visa?
A student visa is available to those who wish to pursue full-time academic studies in the U.S. Upon completion of the student’s education program, they would be eligible for a period of employment authorization.
To qualify for a student visa, a foreign student must be admitted to a degree-seeking program at an accredited University or College in the United States that is authorized to issue visa documents (I-20’s and DS-2019’s).
- F-1: F-1 student visas are for full-time students enrolled in a degree seeking program. After the degree program has been completed, the graduate is eligible for a 12-month period of employment authorization called Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) with an Employment Authorization Card (“EAD”) issued by USCIS. OPT may be applied for after each consecutive higher degree earned. Students in STEM fields may be eligible for a one-time 24 additional months of OPT. It is common for international students to begin working for an employer with OPT employment authorization after graduation and then ask the employer to sponsor them for a change of nonimmigrant status to H-1B before their OPT expires.
- J-1: Foreign students on a J-1 visa may study at an American degree-granting post-secondary accredited academic institution. J-1 students may be financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. government, the government of their home country, an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, or supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds. Often the student is participating in a student internship or study abroad program that will fulfill the educational objectives for the student’s degree program in their home country. Students in J-1 status may participate in academic training with or without wages or other remuneration during or after their studies with the approval of the Responsible Officer at their school.
LENTINI VISAS EXPERIENCE
Before law school, Ms. Lentini was employed as an International Student Counselor at both the University of Houston and Purdue University. She counseled F-1 and J-1 students and scholars. International students is where her passion remains. She seeks to assist international students with their employment in the U.S. beyond their degree programs.
Additionally, Ms. Lentini re-certified a federal government agency’s J-1 Exchange Visitor program with the Department of State employing approximately three hundred J-1 foreign nationals.
Ms. Winslow, our law firm paralegal, also comes from the international student realm. A large portion of her career was spent in the International Students and Scholars Office at Purdue University where she directed the Scholar area of the office. She has hands-on experience with nonimmigrant visas (F-1, J-1 and H-1B) as well as permanent resident cases (PERM and EB-1).