F1 student/nonimmigrant alien at US own gun at Texas


This is some information I find online regarding how an non-immigrant F1 visa students at US can legally own a gun at Texas, USA.

May a nonimmigrant alien who has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa possess a firearm or ammunition in the United States?

An alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition unless the alien falls within one of the exceptions provided in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2), such as: a valid hunting license or permit, admitted for lawful hunting or sporting purposes, certain official representatives of a foreign government, or a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.

[18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) and 922(y)(2); 27 CFR 478.11 and 478.32]

Last Reviewed June 7, 2016


Can an alien who enters the United States on a nonimmigrant alien visa rent a firearm for lawful hunting or sporting purposes while in the United States?

A nonimmigrant alien that possess a valid hunting license from a State within the United States or falls within any of the other exceptions or exemptions that allow nonimmigrant aliens to possess firearms may rent firearms to hunt or to use at a shooting range.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5) and (9), 922(g)(5)(B) and 922(y); 27 CFR 478.99(a) and (c)(5)]

Last Reviewed September 15, 2015


Someone send e-mail asking ATF for more information and I listed them below.


Q1: For example, one such non-immigrant alien was holding a valid hunting
license when he purchased a firearm through an FFL. But later on he didn’t
renew the hunting license when it expired and now he is not in possession of
any valid hunting license. He also does not fall in any other exceptions
stipulated under 922(y). My question is, is he now in violation of 922(g)(5)
(B) and illegally possessing the firearm he legally purchased previously?

A:  The definition of a for a Hunting license or permit lawfully issued in
the United States is found in 27 CFR 478.11 (*note 1) which states, in part: A
license or permit issued by a State for hunting which is valid and unexpired
.  Accordingly, the license or permit or permit must remain valid and
unexpired to possess such firearm after acquisition.

Q2: Does the definition of “possession” in 922(g)(5)(B) also include non-
immigrant alien such as foreign tourist renting/shooting firearms in a
commercial or private target range?

A:  922(g)(5)(B) pertains to only to nonimmigrant aliens admitted to the
United States on a nonimmigrant visa.  It does not apply to other lawfully
admitted nonimmigrants who were not admitted on a nonimmigrant visa (i.e.,
visa waiver nonimmigrants, Canadian citizens not requiring a nonimmigrant
visa, etc.).  Please see Page 2 of the March 2013 Newsletter (*note 2) which has
relevant information pertaining to rental of firearms at shooting ranges.

In addition, there may be State laws that pertain to this proposed activity.
Contact State Police units or the office of your State Attorney General (
http://www.naag.org) for information on any such requirements.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have
additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF
office phone numbers can be found at: https://www.atf.gov/contact/atf-field


L. Babbie | Firearms Enforcement Specialist
U.S. Department of Justice | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and

Firearms Industry Programs Branch
99 New York Avenue NE, Mail Stop 6.N-518
Washington, DC 20226

*note 1: 27 CFR 478.11 – Meaning of Terms.

*note 2:ATF FFL Newsletter, March 2013

Steps that Texas Residents obtain a hunting license.

1. approaches to buy hunting license (https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/licenses/online_sales/     Resident Hunting (*note 3))

2. take hunting education (https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education  3 options to choose)
3. renew hunting license every year around 31 Aug (*note 4)
*note3 : A RESIDENT is a person who has lived continuously in Texas for more than six months immediately before applying for a license.
*note 4 : Generally, fishing and hunting licenses and endorsements are valid from the date of sale through August 31 of the same year. Temporary hunting and fishing licenses and packages, Year-from-Purchase fishing licenses and Lake Texoma fishing licenses have different expiration dates.



same 1080P Camera but total differnt video quality


I bought a dash cam with 1080P resolution (1920 x 1080) for my vehicle and later I think a glass cam will be helpful for video recording, so i bought another glass cam, but even though it’s the same 1920 x 1080 resolution, the video quality is much worse (though file size is similar at 2Mbyte per second, I have not figured out the math about file size exactly, I will talk about it later)

Here is the video screen shot of mini 0906 with 1080P 30fps front camera.

Here is the screen shot of glass camera with 1080P and 30fps.

Why the same 1080P has so huge video quality difference?

About recording file size, 1920 x 1080 = 2073600 Pixels, if each pixels need 8 bits for White/Black, 8 bits represents 28 = 256 tonal levels (0-255) and  24 bits (3 bytes)  for a color image, which is this case. Considering the frame rate is 30fps, which means 30 images per seconds, then the total data amount is 2Meg  x 24 x 30 /8 = 180 Mega Bytes per seconds, after video compression algorithm, the actual file size is around 600Megabytes per 5 minutes, which is 2 MegaBytes per seconds only.

Based on file name extension, the dash cam with better video quality is ended with .MOV, which supports H.264 compression etc while the galss cam uses .avi which is obsolote and uncompressed video quality. So I am not sure if the video recorded from glass cam is really 1080P, maybe not real 1080P based on the video quality.









About Exchange Rate in US (GBP as example)


Travel outside US

Because I need to travel to UK in a few weeks and I spent some time to study the exchange rate at US. Unlike Singapore, US doesn’t have a lot of exchange firms. But Singapore and Europe have a lot of those types of companies.

The ultimate conclusion is to apply a master credit card which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fee. Like the HSBC Cash Reward Credit Card. (https://www.us.hsbc.com/credit-cards/products/platinum-rewards/)

If you think my conclusion is wrong, please don’t hesitate to comment below. I find the same conclusion from TripAdvisor, but they just don’t give me a reason, so I have to dig them out here.

Why not Visa Credit Card?

Because visa credit card exchange rate is worse compared with master. You can try it with the link below. I tried to upload my own pictures but it doesn’t work well. For GBP in visa website, choose GIP (Gibraltar Pound, it has the same rate as GBP, don’t know why visa doesn’t have the option of GBP)

Check the below weblink from Master and calculate the rate:

Check the below weblink from Master and calculate the rate:

Why not exchange firm at UK?

The best available rate on-line that I can find is from Thomas exchange global, their USD buying rate is 1.38504, which is still worse than visa and master card. But to use credit card, you need to have no foreign transaction fee (3% normally). (Visa for GBP to USD is 1.361 and master card is 1.3606)

The link below is their website, they have many branches in London.


There is another one who has a similar name called Thomas Exchange UK, which is totally different from thomas exchange global. I have e-mailed them to confirm. The reason why I mentioned it is because when I google search for thomas exchange near Londong’s King Crossing Station, there is one exchange branch located there and which belong to thomas exchange UK, not global. The address is

25 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2SD, UK

Their online rate is 1.3875 for buying GBP via USD from them, which is worse than Thomas exchange global. I didn’t try exchange from it yet.


Why not exchange in US

Best rate I find is Wells Fargo, which offer me 1.4198 USD = 1 GBP. I tried Chase and Bank of America, you can try other bank’s calculator. I need to prepare some cash in hand before I fly there.

In a summary, to buy the same 1 Britain Pound, master card allow me to pay the minimum today as 1.3606 if my master credit card has no foreign transaction fee.

  • Way to Pay                                        USD to pay for 1 GBP
  • Master Card                                            1.3606
  • Visa Card                                                 1.361
  • Exchange at UK from USD                   1.385 (lowest I find)
  • Exchange at US for GBP                       1.4198 (Wells Fargo, lowest I find)

Different Situation

I once also tried to exchange all my SGD to USD because I am not travelling that time, but move all my asset to US for my study. I am not financial major and also don’t have a lot of money to exchange, so I just look for different bank exchange rate at Singapore and choose the lowest one, I remember UOB offers the lowest. But I believe there must be some better way to exchange currency, maybe bitcoin. Let me know your opinion.

Hello, World, again


世界你好, again


然后对于自身的欲望,应该多加锻炼身体,在引体向上这个运动上有所突破. 看看下面这个小视频,你就知道我对自己的期待了。

Olympic single bar Pull Up


Opportunity 机遇



P导师组里的那个印度人硕士原来早就退出了。因为他觉得跟着P教授学不到什么东西。他现在在Intel实习,做serdes。(Update: 后来发现不是同一个印度人,是另外一个印度人。Abinav后来跟我一起面试的南加州的一家公司,多亏了那晚上的聊天,他真的是超厉害,我实在是太菜了,还有好多需要学习的,虽然我们两个最后都没有拿到那家公司的offer,但是我很感激那晚他对我的帮助。)

N公司的集成电路设计组招了我们学校TAMU的MEng硕士,那个硕士的实力真的很强。他没有读Master of Science也可以通过实习得到电路设计的机会。



现在回头看十月份写的那篇博客,其实那个时候正确的做法应该是马上疯狂的投实习,看能不能找到2017 spring的实习机会,然后跳出去。




这真的是我没想到的,他的考试到底怎么回事? 我算了一下就算我剩下半个学期所有分数都拿到,我也最高只能拿到B了.我靠,我都想退课了!

如果是以前,我根本不在乎拿A或者B,但我现在非常在乎这些东西,为什么在乎,因为公司招人开始看这些参数了, 这相当于拉低了我的整体GPA…..有没有搞错,我到底要不要在乎,谁看我的GPA啊,可恶….


也有点看这个上课的老师不爽了, 不知道这门课怎么回事.

最近的ELPE TA考试也让我很崩溃,已经尝试三次了,还是失败了,跟上次差不多一样的分数,不知道怎么回事,完全不理解出了什么问题.