Rishit applied for a PG course in the University of Alberta. He is excited to move to Canada, but is unsure about the visa policies and the responsibilities he had to bear as a new resident of the country. Will it be easy for him? Or are the rules same for him as that of a permanent resident.
Like Rishit, many students post queries on quora and Canada immigration sites to make up their minds before venturing into a new journey.
So, here is a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts that students in Canada on F-1 visa should keep in mind.
Tips for Students on F1 Visa in Canada/USA to Avoid Deportation
- Canada and US guarantee equal protection of rights to everyone staying in the country. In general, students and scholars enjoy the same constitutional protection as the U.S citizens do. Having said that, these people should abide by the regulations imposed on them by immigration laws when they are migrating from other countries. They can own property or land if they wish to and are protected by the law on grounds of race, religion, colour and national origin.
- Regulations for international students are complex and tend to change periodically. To avoid deportation, students must abide by the regulations set for them. Here’s a list of things that students need to keep in mind all the time:
- The passport should remain valid at all time
- Full-time enrollment is compulsory
- They must file an application for program extension if they need more time than required
- Do not accept employment until it is mandated by the course or is an on-campus enrollment under the US laws.
- Do not travel outside the US or Canada without proper paperwork and documents.
- If the student is graduating and wishes to extend his stay for further study, he/she should apply for new school/program before he graduates.
- If you are changing addresses, report the new address to the International Student Advisor within 10 days after you have changed the address. It should also be reported to the Enrollment Services Office.
- Filling up the income tax form is crucial if the student has been working. Fill out appropriate forms depending on tax status.
- Give truthful answers to any question an immigration officer may ask the student about their status.
- Be very particular about updates sent by the ISA so that the students do not miss out on important updates.
Events that can Lead to Deportation of Students
International Students in Canada have the same right to free speech as their native counterparts. However, they need to express themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner. Minor convictions do not lead to deportations in most cases. However, more serious cases could have its ramifications. For instance, if the student is held for minor theft, disturbing the peace, drunkenness or similar minor offence, the immigration status will not be affected. However, if he is involved in corruption, immoral or evil acts, he will be deported immediately. Deportation laws are strict against students involved in drug abuse.
When and Where to renew your passport and Visa while on F1 Visa
While it is important to keep your passport updated, it is equally important to pay attention to your ‘entry tickets’, your visas. Remember, it is necessary to renew your visa only if:
You plan to leave and re-enter the US after your visa has expired
You are travelling to a different country outside Canada- Mexico or any of the islands in the Caribbean Sea. You can renew your visa in your home country if you have to re-enter US. You can do this at the US Consulate in your home country, but there is no guarantee that the renewal of your visa will be approved. It must be remembered that it is not possible to renew an F-1 visa while you are in USA.
Seeking transfer to new college- Don’t forget to Obtain Form I-20
If an F-1 student is seeking to get transferred to another college within USA, he/she should obtain an I-20 from the new school. The student has to qualify for this option. The student must be in status and must be pursuing a full course of study and must be engaged in post-completion practical training. Anyone not meeting these requirements is ineligible for school transfers and must then apply to the USICE for re-instatement to student status. It is also important that he student informs the old school about his intentions to leave the school.
Facing deportation? Act fast- Use your Legal rights and remedies fast
Deportation is not acceptable in the first place. But, if students still want to get back to Canada, there are (not-so-easy) ways to get back to the country. Applying for:
- Approval of re-entry to Canada
- Authorization to Return to Canada
In both the cases, you need to convince the border forces and the immigration authorities that you are eligible to be allowed back despite your immigration history.