I am a recently graduated F-1 student in the US and I have already gotten approved post-completion OPT. My major was computer science.

I have 3 questions about Google AdSense income in the US. I have applied to AdSense and I got AdSense account, but I have not put any ad yet. It is because I am worried about whether I am allowed to get AdSense income in the US. (I applied for AdSense with US address.)

I am going to work in the US as a system engineer at a US company. In addition I also want to get income from AdSense.

I have 3 questions as follows:

1) Is AdSense related to my major, computer science? It is said that OPT allows me to get job which is related to my major. I studied not only about computer but also web design in college. Web design was also included in the CS program.

2) Should I write article about Computer/IT for my website? If I write article about computer, it will not be illegal? On the other hand, if I write article which is not about computer/IT, it will be illegal?

3) With OPT status, is it allowed to get income from 2 or more US companies? I want to get income from both my regular employer and AdSense.

  • Could you define what "Adsence" means? Do you mean Google AdSense, or is it something else? Aug 8 '18 at 14:28
  • 1
    This was posted with the 'visa' tag. However, visas are not mentioned once. I can not see what this question is doing on this site. Also - it's very confusing.
    – Scott Earle
    Aug 9 '18 at 1:15
  • You might review Immigration and Customs Enforcement's F-1 pages found here: ice.gov/sevis/employment. These pages discuss both on-campus and off-campus work. Aug 9 '18 at 1:21
  • @ScottEarle OPT is work authorization for people who enter the US in F-1 student status. I think any question about OPT would be on topic for this site. I agree this question is confusing as written---I've submitted some edits to try to clarify it and remove the "visa" tag.
    – krubo
    Aug 10 '18 at 1:00
  • Then it should be tagged with something else. I had never heard of OPT before, so it was meaningless to me. I will retag it as soon as I can.
    – Scott Earle
    Aug 10 '18 at 1:05

Most of your questions are addressed by SEVP's OPT Policy Guidance issued April 23, 2010, as follows:

With OPT status, is it allowed to get income from 2 or more US companies?

7.2.1. ... Multiple employers. A student may work for more than one employer, but all employment must be related to the student’s degree program ...

Is AdSense related to my major, computer science?

7.2.4. How does a student show that employment is directly related to his or her degree program?

SEVP recommends that the student maintain evidence for each job documenting the position held, proof of the duration of that position, the job title, contact information for the student’s supervisor or manager, and a description of the work.

If it is not clear from the job description that the work is related to the student’s degree, SEVP recommends that the student obtain a signed letter from his or her hiring official, supervisor, or manager stating how the student’s degree is related to the work performed.

Unfortunately I can't tell you for sure whether your work to earn money on AdSense is sufficiently related to your major to be allowed based on the above guidelines. Particularly your questions about what articles you can write---there isn't an intrinsically clear dividing line that says what work is sufficiently related to be allowed. The most likely time it might be audited would be if/when you submit another application to USCIS in the future.

Finally, although you didn't mention it, since Google AdSense isn't hiring you as a regular employee, you would be considered as work-for-hire or self-employed and must follow all relevant rules for it. Here's what the same policy guidance says about this for regular OPT (note STEM OPT is different):

7.2.1. ...

  • Work for hire. This is also commonly referred to as 1099 employment, where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. If requested by DHS, the student must be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract period and the name and address of the contracting company.

  • Self-employed business owner. A student on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. The student must be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to the student’s degree program.

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