F1 visa - Associate's degree programs - eligibility


darklord1984

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Hello, I am currently in the USA on an H1B visa, and my wife recently successfully changed her visa status from H4 to F1, while being enrolled in an Associate's degree program at a community college.

 

All our steps were taken while corresponding with the International Office at the community college every time. However, the officials have recently started telling us that my wife may not be enrolled in an 'Associate in Applied Science' program on an F1 visa, and that she may need an M1 visa in order to do so. If she wishes to continue on an F1 visa, she would have to be enrolled in an 'Associate in Science - Transfer' program, and that it would be compulsory for her to transfer to a 4 year degree program after completion in order to be eligible for OPT. We certainly do not want to do that, as we had made our intentions to the International Office very clear before my wife enrolled. My wife's I20 clearly shows that she is in school for an Associate's degree program.

 

My first question is this; can a student be on an F1 visa and pursue an Associate in Applied Science Degree?

 

My second question; if a student is enrolled in an Associate in Science - Transfer program on an F1 visa, is it compulsory for the student to transfer to a 4 year degree program in order to become eligible for OPT?

 

Thank you.

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Hello, I am currently in the USA on an H1B visa, and my wife recently successfully changed her visa status from H4 to F1, while being enrolled in an Associate's degree program at a community college.

 

All our steps were taken while corresponding with the International Office at the community college every time. However, the officials have recently started telling us that my wife may not be enrolled in an 'Associate in Applied Science' program on an F1 visa, and that she may need an M1 visa in order to do so. If she wishes to continue on an F1 visa, she would have to be enrolled in an 'Associate in Science - Transfer' program, and that it would be compulsory for her to transfer to a 4 year degree program after completion in order to be eligible for OPT. We certainly do not want to do that, as we had made our intentions to the International Office very clear before my wife enrolled. My wife's I20 clearly shows that she is in school for an Associate's degree program.

 

My first question is this; can a student be on an F1 visa and pursue an Associate in Applied Science Degree?

 

My second question; if a student is enrolled in an Associate in Science - Transfer program on an F1 visa, is it compulsory for the student to transfer to a 4 year degree program in order to become eligible for OPT?

 

Thank you.

Answer to your 2nd question: An associate degree is not eligible for OPT. In my opinion it is a waste of money.

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Yes, she already has a Bachelor's degree, but I am surprised to know that a person graduating with an Associate's degree is completely ineligible for OPT. I see a lot of official literature from multiple community colleges all over the USA that an Associate's degree is in fact eligible for OPT. Jairichi, are you absolutely certain?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Yes, she already has a Bachelor's degree, but I am surprised to know that a person graduating with an Associate's degree is completely ineligible for OPT. I see a lot of official literature from multiple community colleges all over the USA that an Associate's degree is in fact eligible for OPT. Jairichi, are you absolutely certain?

 

Thanks.

I am sorry. I stand corrected. Associate degree is eligible for OPT. For some reason I was thinking about H1B.

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Answer to your 2nd question: An associate degree is not eligible for OPT. In my opinion it is a waste of money.

Please don't give wrong information. Associates degree is eligible for OPT. Community Colleges have dedicated international office and students are eligible for OPT once degree is completed. Students will need to fill-out the paperwork in coordination with International office and send those documents to USCIS. The credits earned at Community Colleges can be transferred to the state university and students can pursue bachelor's degree. And almost all public universities have partnership with community colleges where students can enroll con-currently. Also community colleges are inexpensive compared to private/public university. 

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Someone with a BS/BA should not be dumbing down their credentials with an associates degree. What legitimate company would want to hire someone who did this? It shows poor judgment and character.

 

If she wants to go to school, she should go for a masters. If she wants to work, she should find an employer to file on the basis of her current degree next year. If she is unwilling to spend the time to do either of these and still wants to work, she should go home and not abuse an F1 visa.

 

(I sure wish the USCIS would get smarter about this scam!)

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Please don't give wrong information. Associates degree is eligible for OPT. Community Colleges have dedicated international office and students are eligible for OPT once degree is completed. Students will need to fill-out the paperwork in coordination with International office and send those documents to USCIS. The credits earned at Community Colleges can be transferred to the state university and students can pursue bachelor's degree. And almost all public universities have partnership with community colleges where students can enroll con-currently. Also community colleges are inexpensive compared to private/public university. 

I already apologized for providing wrong information. Check my previous response.

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Someone with a BS/BA should not be dumbing down their credentials with an associates degree. What legitimate company would want to hire someone who did this? It shows poor judgment and character.

 

If she wants to go to school, she should go for a masters. If she wants to work, she should find an employer to file on the basis of her current degree next year. If she is unwilling to spend the time to do either of these and still wants to work, she should go home and not abuse an F1 visa.

 

(I sure wish the USCIS would get smarter about this scam!)

Hello t75, this is not a scam. Not that we have to explain ourselves, but finding an employer is really the student's responsibility, so let us deal with that. Please be courteous in the forum. Thank you.

 

The main question I had was this; can a student pursue an 'Associate in Applied Science' degree on an F1 visa, or does the student need to get an M1 visa in order to do so? I believe skc40 answered my other question, thank you skc40!

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