US visas are issued for different purposes, and these visas are strictly meant for the purpose for which they were issued. After being issued a visa and travelling to the US, it is imperative to stay on the right side of the law by maintaining one’s visa status. Violation of the terms and conditions of a visa as well as living in the US illegally comes with serious consequences such as deportation. The importance of maintaining one’s visa status thus cannot be overemphasized.
Firstly, as a visa holder in the US, it is important to keep a valid passport at all times. Visa holders in the US are also required to hold their I-94 cards at all times. The I-94 card states the length of one’s visa as well as the purpose for which the visa was awarded. However, this requirement does not apply to Canadians. Canadians are only required to possess proof of their citizenship when required. Apart from the basic requirements, holders of specific visas are required to maintain extra documentation. For J-1 visa holders, it is imperative for them to maintain an unexpired DS-2019 form.
Depending on the type of visa, certain other terms and conditions apply to maintain one’s visa status. The F-1 visa is a visa that is awarded to students for the purpose of pursuing a degree in the US. The regulations that apply to maintain F- visa status include not engaging in unauthorized work. Students holding F-1 visas are allowed to work with the campus of the institution after completing the I-9 and getting the required permission from the international office of the institution. Apart from the authorization of the International Office of the institution, one needs the authorization of the Department of Homeland Security to work off-campus while maintaining an F-1 visa.
It is also important to maintain full-time enrolment to maintain F-1 visa status. The full-time requirement needed to maintain F-1 visa status is as specified by the program as well as the discipline and institution. An I-20 form is also necessary for maintaining one’s F-1 visa status. The I-20 should be extended as necessary if the initial duration of studies is extended.
H-1B visa is a type of visa that is issued to skilled professionals that have at least a Bachelor’s degree in their field of expertise. The conditions for maintaining this visa status include making extensions as required, adhering to the requirements of reentry for with a valid I-94 card, maintaining legal residential status for dependents and following the requirements for quitting one’s position.
Another popular visa option, which is issue to professionals, is the J-1 visa. This visa is issued to persons to allow them to work in the US for specific periods. Maintaining a J-1 visa status requires making the necessary extensions when due, notifying the government of a change of address, following the requirements for travel and maintaining the legal status of one’s dependents. To maintain J-1 visa status, it is also important to transfer the visa promptly as one changes the place of employment.