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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Study US: 'Working off-campus is illegal'

Study US: 'Working off-campus is illegal'

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June 27, 2007 12:57 IST

You want to study in America, but do you know all the rules?

Are you allowed to work a job while you study? If so, for how many hours a week?

How can you properly present your assets for your visa interview? Is there an age limit for student visas?

Will a good SAT, GRE or GMAT score earn you the student visa? Or is the process more complicated?

Dr Arun Vakil, US visa expert, anwered these questions and more during a June 21 chat.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's part two of the transcript:

Part I: 'Is your paperwork in order?'

 jigna asked, Hi,i am doing my MBA in Hr from mumbai,i am in to last year,will it help me to get job over there or i will have to do MBA from US again then i will get job,what are the chances to get job in to US, and how i will have to apply for that..and if i have to do any course from there then how will i should go ahead means what is the prosigur for applyind student visa,a and what documents are required, minimum how much bank balace is required to get visas.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Use foreign placement agents, the Internet and any personal contacts in the US for assistance to get jobs. There is no substitute for independent research on this. It's difficult to get a job in the US, but not impossible if you are fully qualified. Try www.nostops.org website for H1B visa possibilites.

Dropdead asked, Hi..I went ti US two years back to pursie my MBA, but had to drop out due to personal reasons. I however wish to pursue my masters agaion from there. I dont really have an on paper proof to validate or justify my previous drop out. Will i be able to get an F-1 again

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
You must get a fresh I-20 and obtain a fresh student visa as well.

nara asked, BEING DOCTORS will chances of VISA rejection high for masters programme

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
It is tough for foreign medical graduates, but not impossible. You must show assets in India and reason for returning following your studies.

Jungli asked, Is it possible to practise hinduism in the unisted states?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes. America is tolerant of many different religions and cultures.

rajesh asked, I will be travelling to the US on B1 visa soon. Can my company also apply for L1 visa while I am in the US.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes, they can do this while you are in the US.

nara asked, hi, I am doc aged 35 above applying for masters programme, will age be problem to get visa, please give honest ans

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Age is not a problem; being a doctor might cause some difficulties. Remember to show your assets and reasons for returning to India.

valit asked, Will my accent be critized by the Americans that I study with?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
No. So long as you speak correct English and communicate properly, you should not have a problem.

Cog asked, Is there any way to move past immigration without having a hassle?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
As long as you have the proper documents and no controversial belongings, you will be fine.

nkd asked, i have heard that we need to show some strong financial background then only we get visa otherwise not... is this true.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes, you must show that you have the ability to pay for your entire education, unless you take a loan or find a sponsor. Also, a strong financial background, such as property, shows you have reason to return to India.

robin asked, Are there good chances of getting tution fees waived or scholarship or any another kind of a finacial aid in MBA in US... if yes then please tell me how?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Tuition fees can be waived after you complete one semester successfully and get excellent grades. Money is allocated according to merit, so you must earn top marks if you desire financial aid.

Jatin asked, The other problem is, my mom's a housewife, her income is interest income, for which we file income tax returns as well. That should not be a problem right ?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
No problem. As long as it can be demonstrated as liquid assets, you are fine.

Travel asked, Is a US degree worth the expenditure?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Depends on your career goals and objectives in life. Remember, the world is increasingly become globalised.

charu asked, if i have an F1 visa, is it mandatory for me to go to the city of my univ directly or can my port of entry b another city and then I go to my university a week later?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
You can stop by to some other city on the way provided you have an air ticket for your final destination city. Remember, you cannot enter the country more than 10 days before your programme starts.

Gautam asked, Hi Arun, I have a L1 Visa, can i apply for H1 while i am in US if i manage to find a sponsor

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes. The company will need to arrange for it.

Satish asked, What are the mandatory things for learning in US.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Knowledge of English, good background in your degree specialisation, good entrance test scores, adequate finances and a willingness to work hard and meet new people.

Satish asked, Some students from india learn and earn at the same time. what kind of jobs available for students in US.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Only part time jobs are allowed for students. You may not work more than 20 hours a week. Also, it must be on-campus; off-campus jobs for students are illegal except for a few exceptions.

rkay asked, hello sir,i am currently pursuin my bachelors degree...my doubt is does a really good gre score help in determining a good college..?? if so,then how much would it be..?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Each university has its own criteria for admissions. Also, a good GRE score by itself is not a determining factor for getting a US study visa. Other variables such as family funds, academic record in India, career objectives, kind of university and more all plays important role.

vidhi asked, Sir, it is advisable to earn first degree here in India and go to US for graduate diploma? Or should I go there from start (currently have M1)

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
This is an individual choice. Personally, I recommend getting your bachelor's degree in India and master's in the US. Again, this is just my preference.

digant asked, Hi i HAVE BEEN TO USA 3 times on business visa.Had 5 yrs multiple.Now want to apply as visa expired.can show enough credentials.Only thing my family has stamp of police clearance for newzealand as i was thinking of migrating but never applied.Can this be a hurdle in obtaining visa

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
This is not a problem. Just explain the circumstances to your visa officer in your interview.

Satish asked, Sir, what kind of accomodation available for an Indian student in the USA.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
You have many choices-- dormitories, hostels, shared or individual apartments. There are rare cases of paying guest accomodation and staying with host families.

Guru asked, My H1 pitition is in query..what does it mean and when it wil be approved

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
It will probably take a long time. It might take from four months to a year.

sansmith asked, Hi, if i have H1B visa stamped through some company (in US), can i transfer the visa to another company even before travelling?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
No. You have to apply for a fresh visa.

rupali asked, hi mr vakil, wot r the medical examinations done before going to US.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Normally not required, but you have to confirm that you've had certain immunisations against disease. Search the internet to find the particular immunisations you need.

usa asked, Hi Arun I heard that this time H1B is alloted on lottey basis. I am supposed to know the lotterry results within a week or so. After that will there be further screening by consulate other than the visa interview in Chennai. Please answer

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
If you clear the lottery results, the US consulate in Chennai will do the normal visa processing. There is no additional screening process.

puneet asked, how are your Visa chances affected if you have a good academic record but have just two backlogs in your engineering ? how should you justify them?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
If you are able to explain your unique situation to the visa officer, you shouldn't have a problem. It might be a problem, depending on your particular case and your particular visa officer.

P asked, I am being part sponsored by my cousins, who are settled in the U.S. right now. Will this cause any problem in obtaining a Visa?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
No problem. Family sponsors are very common.

P asked, Sir, is doing an online job legal on F1 visa (eg. work from home data-entry jobs) ?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
No. You are subject to deportation if the immigration department discovers your employment.

yukan asked, I have this to ask, what will a class be like in America? Will it be long or short?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
It depends on the type of course, university and degree you are attending. Do research with current/ former students at the university you will attend.

tariq asked, hi!! i wanna go to the states for an mba 2008 sept intake. Only by then will i have an adequate 2 years work ex. When do you suggest i statrt my GMAT and uni applications process. Also, approxiamtely how much would 2 years masters degree cost? (living + tuition)

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Start the process now. The earlier you do things, the better. The cost depends on any scholarship money you earn, the university you choose and several other factors.

puppy asked, Hi Arun, I have hot an admit from Case Western University for their PhD program in biological sciences but without scholarship. The fees to be paid is $22,ooo/annum. What are the chances that I'll get a scholarship as I cant afford a full time phd tution fee for 5 yrs, the avreage time to complete a PhD.

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
Get sponsorship from a person in the India or the US. Try a bank loan option. And remember, there are independent scholarships, grants and fellowships available, provided you're willing to look and apply for them.

san_smith asked, if my wife comes with me on a h4 visa, will the conversion later from h4 to h1b (in US) a tough task?

Dr Arun Vakil answers, 
If she is talented and finds a sponsor for her job, this is possible.

Part I: 'Is your paperwork in order?'