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Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1 visa

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tabish
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Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1 visa

Post by tabish » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi guys, new here, felt the forums here could help me as my university immigration advisor, GOV UK telephone advisors, and everyone else I've contacted have all given me different answers.

I'm currently an international student in the UK (Tier 4). I am on a 4-year course (a "sandwich" course), which consists of 2 years of study, a year of working or studying abroad (going overseas is necessary due to the requirements of my degree), and the final year consisting of coming back to the UK to finish my studies and get my degree.

However, from all parties I've spoken to, they have confirmed that international students, on a placement degree in the UK (4 years), are only given a CAS (and hence visa) valid for 3 years. Apparently this is because the status/nature of my 4th year is never actually "confirmed" until I secure a study or work placement. Can someone confirm this? It's outrageous and a bit of a hassle as I can't GET MY DEGREE IN THE FIRST PLACE without completing all 4 years, but regardless.. I'm facing a couple of issues with obtaining visas to other countries because of this mess.

1) I am very close to confirming an internship offer in the United States - I would be going there on the J-1 (intern/exchange visitor visa) for a year, starting this summer (2016) until next summer (2017). This would be my so-called "placement" (third) year of my degree. I have been told that by the visa sponsor organization (necessary for J1 visas, atleast) that my application at the US Embassy in London would get "shut down straight away" (?! seems extreme) due to my UK visa not actually being valid anymore by the time I complete my internship (summer 2017), and hence the visa officer not being able to see any proof of me returning to the UK once I finish my work in the US. He said I couldn't even be able to convince the visa officer that I'd go back to my home country when I finish my internship because it's not a guarantee, and besides - going back to my home country is not something I even want to do. Can someone help me regarding this?

2) After I finish my internship in the US, I have been told by a university immigration advisor that it's absolutely no issue at all to apply for an extension for my final year from overseas (he makes it sound so easy) as I'd be classified as a 'resident' of whichever country I go to (in this case, the US) or a temporary resident, atleast, as I'd be on a non-immigrant J-1 visa.. and foreigners can apply for a UK visa from a third-country as long as they are residing there. Is this true and would I face much issues in this regard? It would just be an extension of my (expired) visa for one year, so I'm guessing (more like hoping) that the UK Embassy wouldn't give me too much trouble as I've already studied and lived there and I'm going back to finish an incomplete degree. Again, I'd like to imagine that I'd have any/all required documents in order at that time, such as signed/stamped original documents from my university confirming me coming back for my 4th year, etc. I'm hoping a J-1 visa in the US is enough for me to apply for a 4th-year extension.

I am urgently seeking ways to speak to my university/someone who actually matters from the Home Office (not a customer service advisor!) so I can clear this up once and for all. I would ideally like to have a 4-year visa to the UK confirmed so it doesn't prove to be a hassle in my visa processes to other countries, but the chances of that seem bleak so far.

Sorry for the long post, but I really would appreciate any help in this regard. Thank you!

cs95tdg
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Re: Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1

Post by cs95tdg » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:53 pm

I'm not sure if you've read the information published below, but sharing in case you haven't.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... v_V1_0.pdf

I can't really answer your questions directly, but I've not seen anything to suggest that you wouldn't be granted leave to cover the duration of your course so long as you have to necessary Tier 4 sponsorship.

I did something similar to you, in the past, but that was before the Tier based visa system came into being. Sharing in the event it gives you something to go on and find out more through your international students advisory board.

I came to the UK as a international student on a 3 year bachelors course of study and was granted leave to remain in the UK for 3 years when entering. But towards the end of my first year I decided that I wanted to change my course to a sandwich degree, with a 1 year work placement. The difference however is that my placement was in the UK, not abroad. As a first step I had to convince the university department that I was making the right decision and got written confirmation that they accepted my request. I then went to the international students advisory board to get help to extend my visa by a year to cover the period of my placement. They guided my through the forms to complete and submitted the application to the HO on my behalf with the necessary university supporting documentation. In the meantime I was applying/interviewing for placements. The visa extension was approved without an issue, with permission to work over the 3rd year.

This is somewhat similar to your situation, although you are planning to do a work placement abroad. Something that's not clear to me is whether your original Tier 4 CAS was for just 3 years & if so why it wasn't for 4 years, given that you began your course as one with a placement from the beginning?

If you have a confirmed placement offer, is there anything from stopping you from making a Tier 4 application for the final year now? That would be a question I'd ask the international students advisory board, if it were me.

cs95tdg
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Location: London

Re: Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1

Post by cs95tdg » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:13 pm

tabish wrote:1) I am very close to confirming an internship offer in the United States - I would be going there on the J-1 (intern/exchange visitor visa) for a year, starting this summer (2016) until next summer (2017). This would be my so-called "placement" (third) year of my degree. I have been told that by the visa sponsor organization (necessary for J1 visas, atleast) that my application at the US Embassy in London would get "shut down straight away" (?! seems extreme) due to my UK visa not actually being valid anymore by the time I complete my internship (summer 2017), and hence the visa officer not being able to see any proof of me returning to the UK once I finish my work in the US. He said I couldn't even be able to convince the visa officer that I'd go back to my home country when I finish my internship because it's not a guarantee.
There is an element of truth to what you've been told, at least in my view. Having travelled under different visa categories I do know that one point that is always important is proving your intent of returning at the end of your leave/visa. I.e. you need to show that you will not overstay. So if you don't have leave to return to the UK to complete your course, that could be a roadblock to being granted a visa to do a US based work placement. Hence my previous comment/question to your international students advisory board on whether you can apply for this before you apply for your US visa, but once you have a confirmed work placement offer.
and besides - going back to my home country is not something I even want to do!
I wouldn't mention this in either of your visa applications, as it's bound to cause problems. As otherwise there would be no intension to return back to your home country after your studies have completed. Getting sponsored employment after graduating would be something to think about later, and not at this stage, if that's what you were thinking when you made that statement.
2) After I finish my internship in the US, I have been told by a university immigration advisor that it's absolutely no issue at all to apply for an extension for my final year from overseas (he makes it sound so easy) as I'd be classified as a 'resident' of whichever country I go to (in this case, the US) or a temporary resident, atleast, as I'd be on a non-immigrant J-1 visa.. and foreigners can apply for a UK visa from a third-country as long as they are residing there. Is this true and would I face much issues in this regard?
I can't speak about applying for a UK student visa extension from the US, but I have in the past made a successful UK visitor visa application from the US, when I was working there on a L1 work visa. So it's technically possible, whether it would be for a Tier 4 application, is something you would need to find out. Again, the approach of trying to get the extension before leaving on your work placement would be my recommendation.

tabish
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Re: Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1

Post by tabish » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:39 am

cs95tdg wrote:Something that's not clear to me is whether your original Tier 4 CAS was for just 3 years & if so why it wasn't for 4 years, given that you began your course as one with a placement from the beginning?
The course was always 4 years but the CAS provided was for 3 years long. I thought this was very odd too and when asked, the immigration services dept at my university said something along the lines of the CAS always being 3 years long as the nature/status of your fourth year is never confirmed until you've completed your third, or something along those lines. Didn't make 100% sense to me then, either.
cs95tdg wrote:If you have a confirmed placement offer, is there anything from stopping you from making a Tier 4 application for the final year now? That would be a question I'd ask the international students advisory board, if it were me.
This is something I will look into pursuing. Thank you so much!

cs95tdg
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Location: London

Re: Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1

Post by cs95tdg » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:53 pm

tabish wrote:The course was always 4 years but the CAS provided was for 3 years long. I thought this was very odd too and when asked, the immigration services dept at my university said something along the lines of the CAS always being 3 years long as the nature/status of your fourth year is never confirmed until you've completed your third, or something along those lines. Didn't make 100% sense to me then, either.
Those words sound familiar, but as its been a long time now since I was a student I can't quite remember precisely when and where I've heard them. It may have possibly been during the time when I was enquiring about extending my student visa. Memory sometimes fails when trying to recall the precise chronology of events. But I think I now understand why the 4th year would be considered unconfirmed when you are first offered a place at university. For example what if you do not get offered a work placement, or if you decide you don't think any of them are suitable. In may mean you are forced to continue down the 3 year degree route, without a placement. That's the way I see that explanation. So until such a time you have a confirmed placement offer in hand, that you have accepted, your final 4th year isn't really confirmed.

Hope all goes well for you and you are able to extend your T4 visa as soon as you have formally accepted your placement offer.

cdntluvumore
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Re: Intl student in the UK wanting to work in the US on J-1

Post by cdntluvumore » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:57 pm

The only part I can give info on is the US temporary residency...no you won't be a temporary resident as they do not have that status any more (I used to be one, I am no longer). All they have now is being an alien or being a resident, which is a permanent resident and Trust me it takes about 9 years for the application for that to be granted!

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