Good news for International students looking for US immigrant visa - Hindustan Times
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Good news for International students looking for US immigrant visa

Dec 21, 2023 02:54 PM IST

New US policy guidance on F visas allows students to apply for immigrant visa and work for startups

In a landmark policy update, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced significant changes affecting international students in the U.S. on F visas. For the first time, these F-1 visa students can now directly apply for immigrant visas under the Employment-Based (EB) category.

New US policy guidance on F visas allows students to apply for immigrant visa and work for startups
New US policy guidance on F visas allows students to apply for immigrant visa and work for startups

F students eligible for immigrant visas

“(F1 visa) students may be the beneficiary of a permanent labor certification application or immigrant visa petition and may still be able to demonstrate their intention to depart after a temporary period of stay,” the release document states

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USCIS has released comprehensive policy guidance on the F and M student nonimmigrant classifications. These new guidance aims to clarify the procedures and requirements for employment authorization, status changes, extensions, and reinstatements for these students and their dependents in the U.S.

F-students can can work for startups

Additionally, the policy revision expands opportunities for students who have completed STEM degrees (a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the U.S. These graduates can now utilize their 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work at early-stage startups. However, the startup needs to adhere to the training plan requirements, remains in good standing with E-Verify, and provides compensation commensurate to that provided to similarly situated U.S. workers, among other requirements.

“(STEM) students field may be employed by startup companies, as long as the employer adheres to the training plan requirements, remains in good standing with E-Verify, and provides compensation commensurate to that provided to similarly situated U.S. workers, among other requirements.”

Who are F-1 visa students

This classification is for students who plan to engage in academic studies in the United States at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution, including a language training program.

Who are M-1 visa students

This visa category is designated for students pursuing vocational or non-academic studies (excluding language training programs). M-1 visa holders are admitted to the U.S. for a fixed period of time, usually the length of their training program plus any practical training followed by a 30-day grace period. Unlike F-1 students, M-1 students have more stringent restrictions on their ability to work while in the United States.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vertika Kanaujia is Editor Audience Growth at Hindustan Times and oversees the website’s coverage of business news, health, technology and internet culture. She is a Chevening Scholar and a Columbia Journalism University Fellow. Vertika has been a journalist for more than 18 years. After starting her career as a business journalist in TV she has worked with various leading news channels. You can email her at vertika.kanaujia@htdigital.in.

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