If you are a foreign national looking to study as a full-time student in the US, you can apply for and get an F1 student visa. To be eligible, you have an intention to study at an accredited school, college, university, or conservatory in the United States. You also need to be enrolled in a course of study that leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree in such an institution.
Plus, your school must be approved to admit international students. The F1 visa is only good for the time the student is in school, and then they cannot stay in the US any longer. During the application process, the student has to express a willingness to go back home and not stay in the US.
They have to show that they plan to return home after finishing their degree. This is why you cannot get an F1 visa if your goal at the time of applying for an F1 visa is to become a lawful permanent resident. If you do this, you are committing an immigration fraud. This may lead to you being kicked out of the US without any chance of coming back.
Are you an international student who plans to get a green card without being guilty of immigration fraud? No need to worry. You might be able to switch your immigration status and get a green card. There are a lot of ways to do this.
Let us take a look at each of the ways you can do that.
Self-Petition for EB-1 Visa
Only international students with special skills can get green cards this way. This will make them able to apply for EB-1 visas. International students with special skills in arts, science, education, business, or athletics can get EB-1 visas to live and work legally in the US.
These visas are hard to get, but they can be a great way to get citizenship. To get an EB-1 visa, you need to show some things:
- You have won a local or foreign award of excellence.
- Being published material in a major media or business publication.
- Membership of a body that requires excellence.
- Have evaluated others’ work at the request of a Judge.
- Have contributed in areas of major importance in your field.
- Written scholarly articles in a specialized or key business publication or media.
- Have made exhibitions and showcases of your work.
- Holding a critical or leadership role in a prestigious organization.
- Having higher value than others in your field.
- Business achievement in performing arts.
Great professors and researchers can also get EB-1 visas, but they have to meet different criteria. An immigration attorney in Jackson Heights can help you figure out what you need to do to qualify for this type of visa. Eventually, you can apply for a permanent residency visa, which is your next step on the road to citizenship.
Employer Sponsorship for EB-2/EB-3 Visas
If you cannot meet the requirements for EB-1, you can still apply for EB-2 and EB-3. For EB-2, you will need to have an advanced degree, special skills in math, science, or art, or a waiver of national interest. You will also need to submit academic records, work experience, and proof of a potential high salary.
If you have a professional license, certification, or certificate, you will also need to provide that too. Your employer will need to file the necessary paperwork with US Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf. For EB-3, you will need at least 2 years of experience in your field or training.
The employer needs to have a full-time job for you and has offered the job to you specifically. This visa is filed on your behalf by your employer (sponsor). If you don’t know how to go about this process, connect with an immigration attorney in Jackson Heights.
Change to a Dual Intent Visa
While EB-1 is the most common way to apply for a Green Card, there are other ways to apply for one. One indirect route is to change your status from an F1 visa to a dual intent visa. This will allow you to apply for a green card after a certain time.
You can do this through two programs: Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPT allows you to work in the U.S. for 12 months. OPT allows you to get work experience in your field of expertise.
If you are successful, you can apply for a dual intent visa. This visa requires your employer to petition you to USCIS for approval. Once you have got your dual intent visa, you can then apply for a Green Card using your dual intent visa.
It is a more indirect way to get a Green Card, but it is much easier than applying for an EB-1 visa. An immigration attorney in Jackson Heights can guide you through the process.
Become an Investor (EB-5 Visas)
If you want to get a Green Card, another option is to invest in the U.S. economy, but only if you are a wealthy investor. EB-5 visas are for people who invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a U.S. business and create at least 10 jobs over the life of the visa.
There are four types of EB-5 visas: C-5, T-5, R-5, and I-5. EB-1 visas are tough because they have a lot of requirements, but EB-5 visas work better for people who can afford them.
An immigration attorney in Jackson Heights can help you plan out your investment so you can meet the requirements for an EB-5 visa.
If you are an international student, you will spend a lot of time in the US. You might fall in love and get married. If you get married in the US, you can change your immigration status and get a green card if you marry a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
But be careful of the 90-day rule, which is a rule used by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to figure out if a person is likely to commit immigration fraud. It applies when you apply to change your immigration status within a 90-day period of being in the US.
If you think this option fits you more, hire an immigration attorney in Jackson Heights to help you apply for adjustment of status right away!
Get Legal Help
It is a common fact that the United States is one of the choicest destinations for people seeking to relocate. And being in the US on an F1 student visa can be both thrilling and sad. This is because your stay in the US is temporary. But we have great news!
With the right legal help at Gehi & Associates, you don’t have to return to your home country after studies. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you secure a green card before you complete your studies. Begin the process with us today!