I am an international student in a study abroad program for one academic year, currently with the F1 Visa.
My hobby is music and I would like to play together with some friends in a band, I'm concerned that I can't do it because of the F1.
Would it be legal to record music and put in on the internet, e.g. Youtube, Soundcloud or iTunes?
Can you play for small audiences, if it's not paid ?
Is a band in general seen as employment ?
I know that there are separate work permits for the F1, but I definitely wouldn't qualify for that, also the O-1 Visa is probably out of reach for someone who does this as a hobby.
Thanks for you time!
Playing music, by itself, is not unauthorized employment. Recording and posting music, for free, is not unauthorized employment. Playing, free of charge, with a band is not unauthorized employment.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
As long as you are not being paid and it is only a hobby, then it is OK because it is not "paid employment"
You can participate in activities you just cannot receive any kind of remuneration or compensation for doing so.
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