5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Foreign Student in the US
1. Working without employment authorization invalidates your status rendering you illegally present in the US. As a student you are eligible to work 20hrs a week during the school year and full time during summer break. Exceptions are made for student who face economic hardships that change their financial situation after enrollment e.g death of sponsor. These students can apply for employment authorization through their schools international student office.
2. Droping out of school has the same effect as no. 1 above. The typical reason for droping out of school is lack of adequated fees. This can be remedied by negotiating with the school on how you will pay for your schooling. Some schools will facilitate a payment plan that will allow you to pay for your fees in installments. Seek out grants and scholarship even if they might only partially pay – better something than nothing! If you have to drop out then make sure you return within 5mths when USCIS is more likely to consider reinstating your student status.
3. Failing to maintain lawful status has huge repercussions that include:
- If you intend to apply for a green card in the future, there will be a possibility it will be denied if you have ever been out of status. There used to be an exception, 245(i), that allowed applicants to pay a fine to have this err overlooked but that was terminated in 2001.
- Jeopardising your approval for the year of practical training you are entitled to after school.
- If you end up having deportation proceedings brought up against you and they succeed, then you will be denied entry into the US for 3yrs or 10 yrs depending on how long you were out of status.
4. Partying too hard is not the reason you are in the US, school is, so simmer down. There is absolutely nothing wrong with partying but just like anything else, you do it too much and it has a domino effect. Too much partying leads to slacking in school, slacking in school means bad grades and potentially being kicked out. Go ahead party but keep it to a minimum and concentrate on what brought you here in the first place. If you can do both equally hard then carry on!
5. Drinking and driving do not go hand-in-hand so cease and desist from ever getting behind the wheel when you have consumed any amount of alcohol. This behavior will most certainly land you in jail and a foreign student with a record is a sure way to shoot yourself in the foot!