I am an incoming international PhD student at a US university. Previously, I obtained my bachelor's degree from the same university, and I've recently completed my master's program at a university in the UK. Unfortunately, my student visa to return to the U.S. was refused for reasons beyond my control, and further administrative processing is required. With the fall semester approaching in just two weeks, this has left me feeling extremely stressed.
I've been in communication with my school and the program director, and they are willing to hold my place for a little longer while awaiting the visa outcome. But past experiences of others have shown that there's a chance of visa refusal or substantial delays in processing. This uncertainty has led me to contemplate internships as an alternative plan.
I reached out to a professor who I had worked with during my undergraduate years, and he has consented to provide me with a reference letter for internship applications. He's well-acquainted with me compared to other professors. However, since he's likely to be my PhD supervisor, I'm concerned that applying for an internship before the beginning of the fall semester might give the impression that I'm not entirely committed to our joint research project. My query is whether it's sensible to have a back-up plan while my PhD student visa remains pending. How might I convey to my professor that my commitment to working with him remains strong, provided that the visa issue is resolved?
Thanks for the help!