Can an F1 student own or be a partner in a business?

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Can an F1 student own or be a partner in a business?

Asked on February 1, 2014 under Immigration Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic program or English Language Program at a US college or university. F-1 students must maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. They can remain in the US up to 60 days beyond the length of time it takes to complete their academic program, unless they have applied and been approved to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT program, as described below. F1 students are expected to complete their studies by the expiration date on their I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) which is provided by the US college or university that the student has been accepted to and will attend.

In order to qualify, applicants need to satisfy and prove several strict criteria during an F1 visa interview:

  1. Must have a foreign residence and must intend to return there upon completion of studies;
  2. Can only study at the academic institution through which the visa was granted;
  3. Must have sufficient financial support;
  4. Must have strong ties to home country (e.g. job offer letter upon completion of studies, assets, bank accounts, and family).

An F1 student can own or be a partner in a business. As to working for pay in such an enterprise, a proper visa for such needs to be obtained.


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