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Canadians doing research in USA - Visa?

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reflex

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If Canadians attending American institutions want to do research over the summer between MS-1 and MS-2, do you know if the F-1 student visa will allow any sort of payment?

Or do we have to apply for some sort of work visa?

Or will a "living stipend" not qualify as a salary?

Thanks!
 

Chemdude

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F-1 visa allows you to work 20 hours/week during the school year and 40 hours/week during the summer. There is no limit on how much you get paid.

Note that you can only work at your institution. I received a research job offer this summer from a lab not associated with my school. Unfortunately, I had to turn down the offer...
 

reflex

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F-1 visa allows you to work 20 hours/week during the school year and 40 hours/week during the summer. There is no limit on how much you get paid.

Note that you can only work at your institution. I received a research job offer this summer from a lab not associated with my school. Unfortunately, I had to turn down the offer...

Dang, so there's no way to work around that? I would prefer to go to another institution for summer work. Would a scholarship or other methods of payment work for a different institution? Or if it was a collaborative thing between the two schools?
 

Chemdude

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Dang, so there's no way to work around that? I would prefer to go to another institution for summer work. Would a scholarship or other methods of payment work for a different institution? Or if it was a collaborative thing between the two schools?

Unfortunately, you can only work at your school. There is a way around that, but it is a pain in the neck. There are three options:

CPT
Curricular practical training is for work in your field of study for which you receive academic ("curricular") credit. You must either receive academic credit for your work experience or it must be required for your degree. You must have a job offer before you can apply. You are not eligible for curricular practical training until you have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year.

OPT
Optional practical training does not have to be for-credit nor required for your degree program. You do not need to have a job offer in order to apply for OPT. There is a $340 application for OPT that has to be sent to the US department of immigration. It takes 2-4 months to get approval. You can work for a maximum of 12 months under OPT status.

A problem with both of these options is that you have to prove that your work(research) is related to your field of study.

Severe Economic Hardship

This option would not be available for you because research does not fall under the category of work required because of "severe economic hardship."

I think your best bet would be OPT, but just to warn you, the application for OPT is very lengthy and your school/advisor has to fill out a lot of forms.
 

reflex

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Thanks for that information.

Is there no possible 'work visa' or something, that your employer could help youo apply for during the summer months?

Or is it not possible to have a F-1 student visa and another work visa at the same time?
 

Chemdude

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Thanks for that information.

Is there no possible 'work visa' or something, that your employer could help youo apply for during the summer months?

Or is it not possible to have a F-1 student visa and another work visa at the same time?

You can not hold two different visa statuses at the same time...
 
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