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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7308
Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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I am on an H4 visa and have recently got admission into a 2

Resolved Question:

I am on an H4 visa and have recently got admission into a 2 year lab based internship program at a university that entails taking courses for the first year, and doing an internship in the second year with a company or an academic hosting institution. The internships require an SSN (which I currently do not have). My questions are:

1. Can I apply for an F1 visa for such a program?

2. Will this sort of a program allow me to get an OPT at the end of 2 years?

3. I was planning to apply for an F1 only in the second year of the program (to be eligible for SSN and therefore the internship). This way I can spend less on the tuition for the first year. My question is in case I change to an F1 only in the second year, will I still be eligible for an OPT?

Thanks a lot in advance for answering my questions!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,

Thank you or requesting me to answer your questions. I'll do my best to answer your questions as completely and honestly as I can. Please note that I earn my living by helping customers like you, so once you've received your answer, I ask that you give me a positive rating for my customer service, so that I get credit for my work. Also please understand that the rating you give is not based on the outcome of your question, for which the law sometimes does not have a satisfactory solution. If you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further.

It doesn't sound to me like you are working towards a degree of any sort. Are you? If so, what type of degree?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One has to be registered as an MS student in a university for the program.

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Right, but for F-1 student status, you must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate, and your school must be authorized by the US government to accept international students.

 

So are you going to be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This program will culminate with an MS degree.

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the information.

QUESTION 1: Can I apply for an F1 visa for such a program?
ANSWER: Based on the information you've provided, yes. So long as the program culminates in a degree, and the institution is authorized by the US government to accept international students, you can get F-1 status (if you are changing status while in the US) or an F-1 visa (if you are outside of the US).

QUESTION 2: Will this sort of a program allow me to get an OPT at the end of 2 years?
ANSWER: Enrollment in any degree granting program on F-1 status can be the basis for OPT after the first year (pre-completion) or after the completion of the program (post-completion).

QUESTION 3: I was planning to apply for an F1 only in the second year of the program (to be eligible for SSN and therefore the internship). This way I can spend less on the tuition for the first year. My question is in case I change to an F1 only in the second year, will I still be eligible for an OPT?
ANSWER: Yes, it sounds to me like you would be eligible, since you would have completed the program and earned the degree.

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Thank you!
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7308
Experience: Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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