Can International Students Make Money Online without Breaking the Law?

Can international students make money online? If you are reading this, chances are you want to know whether or not it is illegal to make money online as an international student. Before I answer the question, let me laud you for trying to find that out because it means you are a low abiding student who has no intention of breaking the law, doing the right thing at the wrong place.

So, back to the question as to whether or not you can make money online as an international student; the answer depends on what method you choose to make money online. Is it by working or is it by running a business?

1. Working

You are in the foreign country as a full-time student and not anything else. Because of that, the government assumes that you are not in a position to participate in employment/economic activities since the demands of being a full-time student leave you with no time for that. Apart from that, it expects that you have the financial resources to fund your academic endeavors. That’s the premise upon which you receive a study visa, which is also known as an “F 1” visa. Therefore, making money online by completing jobs is simply illegal and it can lead to your deportation. Avoid taking the risk.

N/B: There are a few exceptions to this though. Basically, you are allowed to work ON campus:

Up to 20 hours on a weekly basis during the semesters.
More than 20 hours per week during school breaks (such as summer or winter breaks).

Since some campus jobs are purely online-based, you can take advantage of such to make money online, courtesy of your college.

2. Running a Business

Just like working, it is illegal to run a business as a way of making money online. It all boils down to the provisions in the premise upon which you were issued a study visa;

  • You are in the country as a full-time student and not an entrepreneur.
  • You aren’t in a position to participate in economic activities since the demands of being a full-time student leave you with no time for that.
  • You have enough funds to support your studies and everything else that comes with them.

So, by running a business as a way of making money online, you simply contravene the fundamental provisions of the grounds upon which you were issued a visa. It’s simply illegal and unacceptable.

Final Thoughts

Taking the above points into consideration, it is safe to say that you can’t make money online as an international student. It is illegal to take up jobs or run a business online for financial purposes. If found out, one of the greatest penalties you could face is deportation. It’s just not worth it, is it?