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  • Question about F-1 Visa (or other alternatives)

    Hi,

    I'm am a resident of Canada who is currently on a University exchange in California until the end of April. Since I'm taking my course work online through my university back home, I'm here on a B-1 Visa. I'm also volunteering at a California elementary school as part of my University exchange.

    I'm interested in teaching in California either as a substitute or a permanent teacher once I've finished my degree in April. I'm wondering how I would go about doing this - if I need to try and obtain a visa through the United States Immigration offices or if I should be applying to school boards and hoping that they will help me with the paperwork. Also, what visa would I need to obtain? Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  • #2
    Hi,

    I'm am a resident of Canada who is currently on a University exchange in California until the end of April. Since I'm taking my course work online through my university back home, I'm here on a B-1 Visa. I'm also volunteering at a California elementary school as part of my University exchange.

    I'm interested in teaching in California either as a substitute or a permanent teacher once I've finished my degree in April. I'm wondering how I would go about doing this - if I need to try and obtain a visa through the United States Immigration offices or if I should be applying to school boards and hoping that they will help me with the paperwork. Also, what visa would I need to obtain? Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Who told you a vistor visa was adequte. In my opinion, you are on the wrong visa. You should have entered on a J-1 exchange visitor visa/status. A "B" visa is for visitors only.

      The first benefit of being on a J-1 is that you would not have to worry about whether you current volunteer work will be considered employment by the Dept of Labor. You may get away with your volunteering BUT ONLY if the job description states it is a volunteer position to all (ie would a USC or someone with employment authorization be paid if hired for your present position?) In other words the fact that you are not being paid is not the only indicator of whether or not the position can be considered "volunteer" The Dept of Labor will consider your activity to be employment if the employer is only witholding pay because of your visa status.

      The secon benefit of the J-1 is that you also would not have a problem getting work authorizaiton for a subsequent paid position as long as it was related to you field of study.

      At this point, you best bet is to approach the school districts and see if they will apply for an H-1B visa on your behalf (this way you can apply for a green card without violating your visa status). If not then I suggest you look into a TN visa. This is a visa open only to citizens of Canada and Mexico and only if their profession is on a list of qualifying fields. I don't believe that the TN is availble to Canadian landed immigrants. It is only available to citizens.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you very much for your response!

        I came in on a B-1 since I provided documentation from both the elementary school in California and my university stating that I would not be paid and that this exchange was to my expense. I also had to provide documentation that I had enough money in my bank account for the duration of my stay.

        Can you recommend or provide me the location of any immigration offices in Northern California where I can meet with an officer?

        Thanks again for your help.

        Comment


        • #5
          I do not recommend speaking to an immigration officer. They have a low tolerance for questions and often do not provide correct answers.

          Assuming your school as an office in the U.S. (not a virtual one but a real office)

          Go to your schools international office and ask them to issue you a DS-2019 as you want to continue as a J-1 student. They will ask you for proof of enrollment and your bank statment.

          If you can get this document go back to Canada and then re-enter in J-1 status. You won't need a visa but you will have to get J-1 annotated on your I-94. I suggest the J over the F because you have to be in F status for at least one year before you can get the employment authoriztio associated with the status. I also suggest re-entery in J status as oppossed to filing a "change of status" because these applications can take several monts to adjudciate.

          The nice thing about J status is you can be eligible for up to 18 months of employment authorization (aka Academic Training) after completeing one year of school. This can be paid training.

          The only draw back is that depending on your country of citizenship you may get socked with what is called a 2 year home residency requirement. I don't know if this will apply to you or not. If it does you will have to go back to your home country or country of last residence (Canada) for 2 years before you can change to another status inside of the U.S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Addendum

            Unlike the F the J allows for employment authorization even if you complete less than one year of school, BUT you won't get the full 18 months only a period equal to the time spent studying.

            4 months of studying = 4 months of employment authorization.

            Comment


            • #7
              Have a question, which degree are you seeking?
              "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

              Comment


              • #8
                I also recommend this web site:
                http://www.vifprogram.com/learn/

                This next site is from the United States Dept of Education. I think you will find this helpful.
                http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list...s-geninfo.html

                Depending on how long you may want to stay, you might want to contact the California school district for which you want to teach, assuming you want to teach elementary or secondary education.
                "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                Comment

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