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Rina1

Can I work as GA/TA in my University when I have applied for F1 status change and have not got the approval yet?

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Hi,

Currently I am doing Masters on H4 visa and have applied for status change to F1 from US itself. Approved F1 visa has not come yet, but I have been offered GA/TA job in my department in the University. I told them(HR department ) about my situation and they say I can take up the job by showing them signed I-20. I will be on their payroll. Is this legal to accept the job without having approved F1 visa?

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Without work authorization you cannot start working.  However, you can work as GA or TA (volunteer), but you cannot get paid without work authorization.  If you are on H4, do you even have a SSN?  You can work as GA or TA and get paid, if you have H4-EAD.

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No, you can not work at the university unless the F1 is approved.

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15 hours ago, Rina1 said:

Hi,

Currently I am doing Masters on H4 visa and have applied for status change to F1 from US itself. Approved F1 visa has not come yet, but I have been offered GA/TA job in my department in the University. I told them(HR department ) about my situation and they say I can take up the job by showing them signed I-20. I will be on their payroll. Is this legal to accept the job without having approved F1 visa?

You are allowed to work max 20 hours of part time on campus under F1 status. If you are still on H4 with no H4-EAD in hand, you are NOT allowed to work. i20  can be issued to people out of US as well(that's how most are issued an i20 anyway). i120 does not grant you employment authorization.

Edited by xTDx

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5 hours ago, satya2k1 said:

Without work authorization you cannot start working.  However, you can work as GA or TA (volunteer), but you cannot get paid without work authorization.  If you are on H4, do you even have a SSN?  You can work as GA or TA and get paid, if you have H4-EAD.

No, the OP can't volunteer as TA or GA unless the F1 is approved.

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:49 PM, JoeF said:

No, the OP can't volunteer as TA or GA unless the F1 is approved.

Hi Joe,

Isn't it true that H4 person can volunteer at a non-profit organization?

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An individual in H-4 status cannot work. The issue is not whether or not you are getting paid, but whether the organization would ordinarily pay someone for the "work" you are doing. If it is truly volunteer work, it may be permissible. But simply calling something volunteer work, does not necessarily make it so. H4 visa holder is not allowed to be engaged in any forms of employment, including unpaid internship. But you definitely can volunteer at Not-For-Profit organization. So, volunteering in a local hospital, shelter, food bank would qualify.  Volunteering your services in any skillful capacity for which you are trained or in which you have worked before would not.

Personally, I would not suggest it in current times. It just creates too much of a risk and possible RFE for future immigration benefits. On the other hand, people get away with a lot worse.

Edited by xTDx

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2 hours ago, satya2k1 said:

Hi Joe,

Isn't it true that H4 person can volunteer at a non-profit organization?

A person who doesn't have work authorization can not work. Volunteering is possible in some non-profit situations where everybody else in the organization at similar positions volunteers. A classic example is volunteering in a church.

However, in this case here, TAs and GAs get paid (however little it is), so it is not possible to volunteer.

Edited by JoeF

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