The Internet can be a very hostile place, with trolls and bullies lurking around every corner. So it came as a big surprise when a photo of an illegal immigrant graduating from college went viral, not for generating an outpouring of xenophobia and hate, but of support.
The popular blog Humans of New York (HONY) was bombarded with positive comments after it posted a picture of a young lady in cap and gown with her accompanying quote “I’m an illegal immigrant.” Many commenters offered words of encouragement, with several noting that she is the living embodiment of the American Dream.
Others pointed out that the young woman's comment could be interpreted as a joke. If she were in this country on an educational visa, it would technically have expired the moment she got her diploma.
Although the public is supportive of immigrants working towards a better life, immigration officials are not allowed to give you a free pass just because you are in school. Student visas are relatively easy to obtain compared to other types of visas, so there is really no reason not to have legal status while you are in school.
If you are an immigrant and are pursuing the American dream via starting your own business or seeking employment with a business within the United States, you may qualify for a different type of visa. For example, those looking to work in the United States can apply for H1B, H2B and L1 visa’s among others.
If you are an immigrant, and your American Dream involves getting a college education, graduate degree, working for an American company or starting your own business within the United States, we strongly recommend hiring an experienced immigration attorney to help you navigate the system.