This information is provided by International Student and Scholar Services and is adapted with permission of the Office of Immigration Services solely for the benefit of international students, scholars, and staff of The University of Iowa. It is not intended to serve as, nor should it be construed to provide, legal advice. Any foreign national employee of The University of Iowa or other person intending to rely upon the information provided in this handout may choose to consult a private immigration attorney prior to doing so.
Many foreign nationals lawfully present in the United States do not hold, and cannot obtain, employment authorization. For example, a nonimmigrant lawfully present in the United States in B-1, B-2, F-2 or H-4 status may not accept employment. Nor may those in J-2 status who do not possess a valid Employment Authorization Document. This Memorandum will address the circumstances where “volunteer” activities may violate the prohibition against unauthorized employment.
THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS WOULD LIKELY BE CONSIDERED “EMPLOYMENT” UNDER DHS RULES AND THUS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED “VOLUNTEERING”: