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Immigration Policy and Working Legally in the USA

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I have an immigrant friend who is in the USA on a student visa, and she would like to find a way to work in the USA legally, but her school does not offer this type of service. She says she has found an agency that can help, but says it would cost her a thousand dollars (which makes it seem non-legitimate to me). Any advise you immigrant lawyer types can direct me to? I've looked it up on the web and all I get are official government sites that say work through your school. Is there an agency that can help her out without it costing her an arm and a leg? Thank in advance!

I certainly think that our immigration laws are highly irrational and an immigrant ought to be free to move here without interference, so long as they obey the rational laws. They wouldn't be permitted to vote until becoming a citizen, but early on the only regulations where that one would have to live here for a certain number of years (and perhaps develop land) and they could become a citizen.These days it is far different, and I swear the Immigration Office is trying to instill the idea in immigrants that the USA is not a free country.

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr.
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I am not a lawyer, so this is from my conversations with friends and family... The typical student visa is called "F-1". Rules for the other types can be quite different. As far as I know, students are allowed to work, but are restricted. There used to be a 20-hour a week restriction, and work was supposed to be "on campus" jobs. Large colleges that get a fair number of international students, often have them working in various on-campus jobs, but this might be a problem in a smaller college with less international students. After the student has completed their studies, the visa usually allows them to work for 1 year. This is supposed to be a "on the job training" component, so it can be outside campus.

Have you done some internet research into working on student visas? There are a few immigration lawyers who put a lot of information on their sites. In addition, there are some internet forums where people discuss immigration rules and rigmarole.

Frankly, the most practical option for people when the college does not offer employment opportunities is to work for cash at small businesses. I am not recommending this. Doing anything that is illegal carries a risk, even if it seems innocent enough to the "criminal", and even if it ought never to be illegal in the first place. When one is an immigrant, being caught doing something illegal has the additional risk of deportation. Many do take the risk, figuring it is the right thing for them: but it is not for everyone.

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According to that official website, she's rather stuck with her current conditions due to the fact that I guess she didn't realize she wouldn't be permitted to work in the States for more than 20 hours per week at low wages. She should have checked up on that before accepting the Visa, but that is not much useful advise to her currently. And it doesn't look like she can transfer to another school. Heck, if she were Mexican, she could work hereunder the table through a network, but I'd be hesitant to advise her to do that as it might lead to exploitation and even deportation if caught.

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