I am in a university in the US. I need 10 subjects for a 2-hour experiment. The compensation is 100 USD. If a subject is an international grad student on an F1 visa in my university, will it go against the terms of his F1 visa, which restricts his ability to work in the US?
You need to ask the international students' office at your university, because
- It's a delicate legal issue of the type they are trained to navigate, and
- The answer may depend on the particulars of how the university handles its students and how your experiment handles compensation, and
- The answers to these questions change frequently, as visa and immigration regulations mutate.
Even if somebody on this site could give a correct answer and take legal responsibility for it, it would not be safe for somebody else to rely on it in the future.
The safest and correct answer is to ask your international student's office, immigration attorney, or customs and immigration themselves.
Seems like a lot of work for $20 (our standard 'enticement' at my university). Your enticement is $100 which is much nicer....
The pragmatic answer is to inquire whether you will need to fill out a W9 before being paid. If you do, then they are reporting the enticement to the government as taxable income. In that case, GOTO LINE 1.
If not, then the enticement is so low as to not being reportable and/or not being reported. In that case, follow your conscience and/or risk adversity.
It depends on whether the student on the F1 visa is already working 20 hours / week, which is likely to happen if he is an RA or a full-time TA (typically grad TA), but unlikely if he is on a fellowship or pays the tuition fees himself. If the student is already working 20 hours / week, then he is not allowed to work, either it is on-campus or off-campus.
Given the amount of experiments or other small jobs I see paid either in cash, Amazon gift cards (sorry RMS), ice creams, and other kinds of compensations, the immigration law forbidding F1 visa holder from working more than 20 hours per week is broken every day.
I am impressed so few people seem to care about this situation, given that violating the 20-hours-per-week rule can be a cause of visa termination and other troubles (e.g. green card obtention).
(I need to check for volunteering work, but to me that's work too. Any idea?)
The only exception is if the Secretary of DHS suspends this requirement, by means of a Federal Register notice, due to emergent circumstances. The student must demonstrate to you that the extra work is necessary because the emergent circumstance has affected his or her source of support.
Endorse the student’s Form I-20 with a reference to the Federal Register notice that announced the emergency exception before allowing the student to work more than 20 hours a week.