Legally Speaking: Checklist for studying in the US

Naresh GehiUpdated: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 11:08 AM IST
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The Free Press Journal spoke to US-based lawyer Naresh Gehi who specialises in Immigration, Political Asylum, and Deportation Defence issues for some quick tips for those seeking to stay back in the US post their study.

U.S. laws that international students and scholars should know -

The laws most essential for the international students and scholars are the Legal age of alcohol consumption which is 21, Drug use policies, laws relating to Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and appropriate consent, the mandatory age of wearing the helmet and sidewalk laws, traffic violation rules and Domestic Dispute laws.

Legal Institutes one should adhere to -

The students should adhere to the legal institutes and norms of O.P.T. and C.P.T. ( Optional and Curricular Practical Training) Employment, Equality before the law, and Student Assistance.

Do's and don'ts -

Some of the most important do's for a student in the U.S. from foreign countries are:

● Abiding by the state and federal laws.

● Abiding by the laws related to smoking, drinking, and driving.

● Maintaining punctuality everywhere they go, especially in educational institutions.

● Obeying the traffic rules.

● Opening a student bank account.

Should one carry one's passport everywhere?

Yes. explore the country graciously and communicate with the locals. They should carry their passports at all times, be honest with the immigration officers and be well versed with the immigration regulations and other laws during their period of stay.

Legal application process for a P.R. post-graduation for International students -

A student can legally apply for a P.R. post-graduation, provided an employer sponsors it for future employment. The procedures include Labour Certification, I-140, and I-485, with three categories in the employment-based Green cards accordingly.

Incidents of racially conscious admissions -

There have been shameful incidents of illegal discrimination against Asian Americans and White applicants in undergraduate admissions at Yale University in inviting demands for inspection. Cases in Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were taken up at the Supreme Court. Therefore the times are changing now with more awareness.

Legal Support and Rights of an international student -

Usually, international students and scholars in the United States enjoy the same constitutional protections as U.S. citizens. However, non-immigrants are subjected to special legal privileges like the allowance of property ownership and protection against discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, color, and national origin or, in unfortunate cases of scams or others taking advantage of their naivety.

Requisite formalities when an Indian student secures a job -

The Optional Practical Training, which is to be applied for through Form I-20 in the U.S.A., allows the F-1 visa students to stay back in the U.S.A. after completing their education. They require authorization from the USCIS and the institution's international student office. The student is subsequently allowed to work for a year post their academic fruition but compulsorily with the Employment Authorization Document or E.A.D. from USCIS. Apart from O.P.T., the off-campus employment option of Curricular Practical Training or C.P.T. is available only for these students.

Loans and Financial Assistance -

As for complicated loan cases and securing financial assistance for the students, we handle them with ease both in the New York and Indian offices.

Staying back illegally after the course ends -

As the U.S.A. is an inviting destination for illegal immigrants, mainly from India, like every other instance, overstaying the visa even after they complete their course is unfortunately recurrent. And it has proved to be a hindrance when they manage to get employed when their documents are scrutinized.

Future of Ukrainian students in the US -

For the most obvious reasons, the United States has been globally known as a popular destination for higher education, especially among Indian students. Magnanimous universities like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Columbia are undoubtedly attractive options for every student irrespective of their nationality because of the flexibility, the liberty to explore different academic discipline areas, and a fruitful scope of employment opportunities post completion of their education.

(Naresh Gehi is based out of the US. He is the Founder and Managing Partner at Gehis Immigration and International Legal Services.)

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