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Is it permissible to have pre-existing employment with a non-US company, then go on unpaid leave, then enter the US and study in the US with an F-1 visa while being on unpaid leave with that non-US company? As far as I know, working for a non-US company is not permissible on an F-1 visa, but in this case no work would be done nor compensation received. Thanks.

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The law doesn't forbid being on the rolls as an employee on leave. It forbids working.

That said - for legal advice talk to a licensed attorney.

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