Can I make money legally off my blog as an international student on an F-1 visa in the US?

Since you’re here on a visa, the last thing you really want to do is to take some sort of action that would violate the terms of your stay. Honestly, don’t do anything that could even look like you’re doing something that you shouldn’t.

As an F-1 visa holder, you are here to study full-time and you must have the funds to support yourself for the whole time that you’re here. From the USCIS website, F-1 students may NOT work off-campus during their first academic year, but they MAY accept on-campus employment as long as it meets certain restrictions. After your first year, there are three types of off-campus employment you can do:

  • Curricular Practice Training
  • Optional Practical Training (pre- or post-completion)
  • STEM Optional Practical Training Extension

Even then, any off-campus employment must be related to your area of study and you must have authorization before you start work from the Designated School Official and USCIS.

Monetized blogging doesn’t seem to fall into those particular categories. Doing it under the name of another person in your home country or depositing the money into an American’s bank account doesn’t solve the issue. You’d still be violating your visa requirements.

Keep in mind that if you violate the rules associated with your visa, it can be revoked, you can be deported, and you can be banned from returning to the United States. I hope this answers your question, but if not feel free to check out a new feature we’re offering at LawTrades. LawTrades Micro allows you to ask a detailed question to one of our quality vetted attorneys who will provide a full written answer within 48 hours for a low flat fee (typically $25). Hope this helps!