One of the passion that drives many people after working for a while is to pursue higher education like MBA or MS. Many of the H1B visa holders are in similar state planning to study MS or MBA from US schools as it adds good value for their profile and help them grow in their career. Some of them are not sure if they can study full time or Part time, what are the rules, etc. Especially with all the Trump’s H1B Policies and tighter rules , it is getting tougher and one of the best ways to make your profile more valuable is to add higher education under your belt. Let’s look the details to study in US on H1B Visa.
Can H1B Visa Holder Study in USA ? Full time vs Part Time?
Yes, H1B visa holders can study in USA. But, one of the myths many of the professionals working on H1B visa in US have is regarding studying part time vs full time. They are often confused with studying part time in US with distance education or online education programs. In countries like India, Sri Lanka, or Pakistan, part time education means a complete different thing. The course structure is different and sometimes the degree you get is different too in these countries. But in US, it is different. When I say different, both Part time and Full time students study the same course material and they get the same degree. Then what makes the difference?
- For MS or MBA, if you enroll in 6 credits (typically 2 classes) or less in any US University for a semester, your education status is considered part time. It means you are going to school part time. If you do not know what are credits, read What are Course Credits in US Universities
- If you are enrolled in 9 credits (typically 3 classes) or more, then your status is Considered Full time and you are regarded as a full time student
That’s the only difference…it is the enrollment of credits or classes that makes a difference in Part time or Full time student status. Universities tailor their MBA/ MS program class schedule in such a way that it is attractive for students who work full time. The MBA/MS classes are held during evenings after 5:30 PM until 9:30 or to facilitate part time students enrollment and flexibility for them to take classes in evenings. Online degree is completely different, do not get confused. Some universities offer MBA Classes on weekends for flexibility, these are exactly same classes as regular. Just timings are different for flexibility. The work load and expectations are same irrespective of when the classes are taught and the degree and curriculum is same for the most part. You may watch below short video as well on the same.
H1B Visa and Visa Status issues, Course Load for Studying in USA ?
As a H1B holder, you can study full time or part time. It is up to you how many classes you can handle. Personally, in few semesters I took 9 credits and worked full time too. It is up to you, how you manage and balance your work and studies. I know my friend did 12 credits doing MBA. As H1B visa holder, to be in proper status you have to be paid by your H1B visa sponsor every month and you have to be on their payroll. That’s the key thing that matters, as long as you are paid every month and you have your pay check running by your sponsor, and you are working full time for the employer, you do not need to worry about any visa issues. If your H1B sponsor cares about your higher education and wants to pay you while you are going to school full time, that’s fine too. The key thing is you have to be in legal H1B status and be paid every month. If you cannot handle work and school, then you may change your visa status to F1 visa. But, if you change your status, you will have to take 9 credits every semester to be considered full time student. You cannot be a part time student on F1 Visa and you cannot work full time.
Does H1B Visa Holders get In-state Tuition Fee ? What are the requirements ?
Tuition fee is something very expensive as out-of state or international student. If you work in a state for more than a year and pay state taxes you may get in-state tuition in state schools. It saves you a lot of money. It all varies by school and the state. You can only get in-state tuition fee in State Universities. Private Universities like Stanford, Harvard do not give any in-state benefits. You may read article In-state vs Out-of State tuition. Can you get in-state tution if you work in US for more than year ?
Should I study MBA or MS in USA as H1B Holder ?
It all depends on what you want to do with your career and where you see yourself in next 5 years. If you are not sure, should I do MBA or MS and which is right for you, you must read this article about: Should I apply for MBA or MS after bachelors? It has all the information about fees, education, funding, etc. As a rule of thumb for MBA, it is recommended to have work experience of at least 2 to 3 years. You may read this article, When should you do MBA ? Directly after B.tech or with Work experience ?
What are your thoughts ? Your experiences ?
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