Student / Exchange Visitor Visas

U.S. study and employment options for the world’s brightest scholars.

We offer comprehensive services for students and exchange visitors interested in pursuing full-time academic or vocational studies through the F-1 (academic) or M (vocational) visa programs. We also assist with the J exchange visitor program administered by the U.S. Department of State.

Common issues we can assist with include obtaining and extending work authorization as a student, finding an exchange program sponsor, applying for a visa at a consulate abroad, facilitating waiver requests, and transitioning into another status.  At ILG we focus on providing clients top-tier service in an expeditious fashion, with a focus on compliance and accuracy. Contact us today to learn more about your student/exchange visitor options.


FAQ Student Visas

Can my company offer internships or employment to international students?

F-1 students are eligible to work through Curricular Practical Training, Pre/Post  Completion Optional Practical Training, and STEM Optional Practical Training.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) provides authorized work experience directly related to your field of study. Work can be part-time (20 hours/week) during the school year and full-time during breaks. CPT must be an integral part of your school’s curriculum. 12 months of full-time CPT employment will eliminate eligibility for OPT.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides 12 months of practical work experience in an area related to your field of study. Unlike CPT, you must receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before you can begin working.  OPT may be completed before the end of your academic program (on a part-time basis when school is in session), or after the completion of your academic program, either full-time or part-time. Time used for pre-completion OPT will be deducted from your post-completion period of authorization.

If your degree is in a STEM field, you may be entitled to apply for an additional 24 months of your OPT work authorization. Your employer must be enrolled in the E-Verify program, and you must submit a Form I-983 Training plan outlining the goals of your employment.

Can my company sponsor a green card for an employee who is in F-1 status?

F-1 status is temporary and does not allow dual intent, meaning upon applying for your visa or entry into the U.S. in F-1 status, you must not have the intent to immigrate (pursue permanent residency). Immigrant petitions or applications for adjustment of status, as well as marriage to a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, should not occur within 90 days of your arrival in F-1 status, or USCIS may find that you willfully misrepresented your intent at the time of entry, which could result in a lifetime ban from re-entering the U.S.

What types of exchange visitor programs are available?

The J-1 visa category encompasses a variety of exchange visitor programs. The categories for these programs include: Trainee, Intern, Research Scholar, Specialist, Professor, Physician, Teacher, and Short-Term Scholar, among others. Contact ILG to see how your organization can sponsor its own J-1 exchange visitor program.

What is required for sponsoring an exchange visitor program?

Exchange visitor programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science. When applying for sponsorship designation, an organization must demonstrate its ability to comply with the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of State for the administration of each program category.

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