I am a successful Youtuber in Canada. I will be going to college in the US this fall. Am I allowed to continue posting my Youtube videos while on an F-1 Visa?

  • 3
    I'm assuming you are generating revenue with the videos right?
    – JoErNanO
    Jul 4 '16 at 20:28
  • 1
    Could your YouTube business count as "Optional Practical Training" related to your studies? Jul 4 '16 at 21:18
  • Sorry for the late response. I am generating a good income.
    – T. M.
    Jul 6 '16 at 1:17
  • I had planned on studying finance but I don't know if my business would qualify for OPT. I started a YouTube channel for my gaming when I was 16 years old and over the course of the last five years I have established a fairly good following… I am an entrepreneur so maybe finance or business could work with the OPT?
    – T. M.
    Jul 6 '16 at 1:21

As you describe your income, it would not generally be acceptable under the conditions of an F-1 visa. Before continuing, you should discuss your online business with your school's designated official in the international student office.

USCIS has clear instructions regarding employment

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.

For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

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