CUNY F-1 International Student May Seek Roundabout Route to Permanent Residency

New York Daily News
September 7, 2012

Q. I came in United States with an F-1 international student visa at age 18. I am about to get my bachelor’s degree from a CUNY college, having maintained my student status. Since I came here after having turned 16, I know I don’t qualify for the Obama deferred action program. My goal is to become a certified math teacher. How can I get permanent residence?

Name withheld, New York

A. F-1 international students do not have a direct path to permanent residence. Many elected officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, are pushing Congress to make it easier for college graduates to get green cards. Congress has yet to act.

Meanwhile, many college graduates use F-1 practical training experience and H-1B temporary professional visa status to get work experience. Then, they may qualify for an employment-based immigrant visa.

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