Under current federal immigration regulations, F-2 visa holders are not allowed to work (nor “volunteer” at a place of work), nor take classes which lead to an academic degree. However, they are allowed to take part-time recreational and vocational classes. F-2s can sign up to volunteer to assist our community needs through a local volunteer agency.
Contact the United Way of Broome County for volunteer activities. They have specific volunteer positions, with various agencies helping people in need. These are "volunteer" positions that are unpaid and which an American would not be expected to be paid for. There are many kinds of positions available depending upon your skills and interests. The United Way offers volunteering opportunities to help worthy causes in our local area, and it is an opportunity for volunteers to get to know our community.
NOTE: There is a clear difference between the types of positions offered through the United Way and a job that you are "volunteering" to work at with no pay. Under current federal immigration regulations, F-2s visa holders are not allowed to “volunteer” for a position which an American would not be expected to be paid for. (An F-1 would need proper authorization for an unpaid position such as this as well.)
If you have any questions whether a position is “volunteer” or an “unpaid employment”, please don’t hesitate to contact Shawna Szabo, Assistant Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the phone contact below.
Local Non-credit Classes
An F-2 is allowed to take non-credit classes through a “Continuing Education” program or “Community Education” at our local community college.
A popular place to take these types of classes (Topics range from hobbies to local history to “self-help”) is Broome Community College (BCC).
Here is the BCC web-link to get you started: http://www.sunybroome.edu/ce/index.php
Binghamton University also offers non-credit classes and online courses through Continuing Education & Outreach http://continuinged.binghamton.edu/
The Art School (Vestal) http://www.theartschoolonline.com/
Roberson Museum (Binghamton): http://www.roberson.org
The Clay Ground (Vestal): http://www.theclaygroundofvestal.com/
Endicott Performing Arts Center: http://www.endicottarts.com/
SMAC – Salsa Music Appreciation Club http://www.smacdance.com/
If you have questions whether a particular class would qualify as “recreational or vocational”, contact Shawna and she will be happy to research it for you.
The Southern Tier and the Greater Binghamton area is a wonderful place to be during all four seasons. There are many outdoor festivals happening almost every weekend. Check the Good Times section in the Press & Sun Bulletin each Thursday:
Broome County visitor’s website also has some information on local area events: http://www.binghamtoncvb.com/
Local Libraries – they often have free programs, classes, and activities. Check out their “Events” sections: http://www.bclibrary.info/ You can go to any library in Broome County and ask for more specific information about events.
List of Local Clubs/Organizations:
If you know of other resources and opportunities that should be added to this handout, please email email@example.com
Office of International Student & Scholar Services
Division of Student Affairs
State University of New York
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Visit our webpage: isss.binghamton.edu
Last Updated: 8/23/12