student visas

Student Visas F-1/M-1 and DACA Immigration News Update

By Peek & Toland on July 16, 2020

Attorney Jeff Peek shares the latest news concerning immigration law that may affect you or someone you know. 

F-1/M-1 Student Visa Update 

Last week, the Trump Administration announced some changes to the F-1/M-1 student visas. The announcement indicated that if there was a full-time online program, you would be out of status as an F-1/M-1 visa holder and would have to leave the country immediately.

The great news is that the Trump Administration just announced that they’re going to rescind the previously issued order and that they will not implement that rule. Therefore, you can take a deep breath if you’re an F-1 or M-1 student visa holder. You will still maintain good status with your F-1/M-1 visa even if all classes are online. 

DACA Update 

The second piece of information is pretty interesting and exciting. In a recent speech, President Trump announced that he wants to extend the DACA program and provide a pathway to citizenship. Now it remains to be seen if he has the authority to do so. Trump hasn’t made it completely clear yet what it’s going to be, but he said that soon he would make a big announcement. 

Until then, we would advise anybody who is either renewing DACA or is eligible for DACA to continue to renew your DACA. If you are eligible, but never filed, definitely get your application ready to go and get ready to file. If you’re somebody who may have had a criminal record in the past but got the case dismissed, now it might be a great time to apply. If you live in Texas, you can get criminal cases expunged, so that it will not appear on your record. We certainly can help you with any of those questions. Watch our latest immigration videos for more information about expunctions: 

Stay tuned as we will keep you informed on any immigration law updates. In a matter of time, we will hear new news from president Trump. 

We are here to help you in any way that you can, so if you have any questions, please call us at 512-474-4445 or you can find more information on our website at www.peekandtoland.com.

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Can Immigrants Work in the U.S. While Legally Present on a Student Visa?

By Peek & Toland on October 20, 2019

Immigrants can apply to study in the United States under three different nonimmigrant visas, and they can work under two of those visas. The most popular of these visas is the F-1 visa, which allows students to work while studying in the country. F-1 visas also permit individuals to continue working in the U.S. after their studies. Those individuals with degrees in a STEM field can extend their visas to work in the U.S. for up to 24 months.

However, there are limits on work even for F-1 visa holders. They typically only can work on campus, and only if they are attending school full-time and making good progress toward a degree. These individuals have to get special authorization under an available program to be able to work off-campus. F-1 visa holders also are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week and no more than 40 hours per week during vacations and school breaks. Finally, on the date that a student completes a course of studies required for a degree, a 60-day grace period for leaving the country begins to run. Students may not work during these 60 days.

Can Immigrants Work in the U.S. While Legally Present on a Student Visa?

Another alternative for students to work in the U.S. is the J-1 visa. This visa allows international students to participate in work-and-study-based exchange programs in the U.S. Sponsoring programs must have accreditation through the Exchange Visitor Program of the U.S. State Department. These programs allow students to gain practical training related to their academic studies that is unavailable in their native countries. J-1 visas are available for various programs related to different occupations and vary in length.

The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.

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What Are the Two Different Types of Visas for Students to Study in the U.S.?

By Peek & Toland on January 23, 2019

There are two different available options for citizens of other countries who wish to travel to the U.S. to study. Whether these students need a F student visa or an M student visa depends upon their course of study and the kind of institution that they want to attend.

If you want to attend a vocational school or another recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language skills training program, you will need to apply for a M visa. For all other studies at elementary schools, high schools, universities, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, and other academic institutions, including language skills training programs, you will need to apply for a F visa.  

What Are the Two Different Types of Visas for Students to Study in the U.S.?

Your first step to obtain either type of student visa is to apply and be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school. You then will be registered for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and will pay a SEVIS fee. The school then will issue you a Form-120, which will enable you to make an appointment with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and apply for either a F or M student visa.

The steps that each U.S. Embassy or Consulate requires you to follow in order to obtain a student visa vary somewhat. In any case, you will need to complete online nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-60, upload a photo, and bring the confirmation page to bring with you to your interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You also will have to pay a non-refundable visa application fee and you may have to pay visa issuance fee, based on your nationality.

You can receive a new student visa up to 120 days before your course or program of study begins, but you cannot enter the U.S. any earlier than 30 days prior to the beginning of the program.

Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration law matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.

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Student Visas Clampdown is Questioned by Oracle CEO

By Peek & Toland on March 19, 2018

The Trump administration implemented a crackdown on a wide range of visas in 2017. One CEO has taken issue at the student visas clampdown.

Mark Hurd is the co-CEO of Oracle Corp. He said he does not understand immigration policies of the Trump administration that make it difficult for people from foreign counties to work in the United States after earning an education in the U.S.A.

In the summer of 2017, the Trump administration sought to change the H-1B program which is widely used by tech companies. The administration implemented the suspension of an expedited approval process for these visas.

Anger over student visas crackdown

Student visas clampdown draws fire

During a conference, Hurd said it doesn’t make sense not to allow people who have learned their trade in the United States to work here. He said:

“I don’t understand how we let somebody into this country go to our schools, earn degrees and then not allow them to practice the trade that they trained and learned out here in this country and start companies here, pay taxes, have kids.”

While the Trump administration’s “America First” policies take a restrictive view of immigration, Hurd stressed the benefits in answer to reporters’ questions at the Oracle Open World conference.

He described immigration as an “amazing opportunity for us to attract talent and grow our economy.”

Hurd said Oracle Corp hires about 20,000 workers on average every year, Reuters reported.

Studies have concluded immigration, even when unlawful, can have a beneficial impact on the economy of Texas, stated the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

An analysis from the Perryman Group found Texas needs undocumented workers to keep its economy going.

The amount of workers who lack documentation in Texas is roughly twice as the size of the total number of unemployed people who could work. Even if all of the unemployed people filled jobs now held by undocumented workers, the state would be left with a gaping skills gap.

Obtaining a visa can be difficult and complicated. If you are seeking help with a visa issue, please contact our experienced Austin immigration law firm for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.


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