The F-1 Visa is issued to international students who want to study in the U.S. Whether it is college, high schools, elementary schools, universities, or language training programs F-1 Visa covers it.
To apply, you must apply to “USCIS” approved school in the United States. That means school approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for accepting international students.
Before applying to any school check if the school accepts foreign national students and provide I-20 form. When accepted, the school should give you USCIS Form I-20 which you will need in order to get your visa. You must also prove that you have the financial resources required for your education and stay in the United States.
Once you will be given I-20 make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate and apply for a student visa. Also, you must pay SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee.
Before going for you Visa appointment Make sure you have the following:
- Form I-20,
- SEVIS fee receipt,
- proof of funding,
- proof of ties to your home country, and any other forms you consider important or your country specifically requires.
Also, it is recommended that you apply for your visa early. Make sure you have enough time for visa processing. Students may apply for their visa as soon as they have all required documents.
If you apply for your visa more than 120 days before start date
The Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, before start of your registration date. Consular officials will use that extra time for application processing.
Department of Homeland Security regulation
Requires all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.
A beginning student who wants gain earlier entry into the U.S. must obtain visitor visa. A prospective student notation will be shown on his/her visitor visa and the traveler will need to make the intent to study clear to the U.S. immigration inspector at port of entry.
As an F-1 Visa applicant, you must undergo an interview at the Embassy Consular section. If you pass the interview and are granted the visa you can travel to the United States.
Upon entering the United States
Usually, you will be admitted for the duration of your student status show on I-20 form. In other words, you may stay as long as you are a full-time student even when the F-1 Visa in your passport expires while you are in the U.S.
Spouses and children below 21 years of age are eligible to obtain F-2 derivative status. They may accompany the F-1 Visa student and remain in the United States. Children may also attend elementary and secondary schools. But again, if you are with F-2 status, you are not allowed to work.
In order to maintain your F-1 Visa status
- You must maintain the minimum course load requirement for full-time student status.
- You may remain in the United States for up to 60 days beyond the length of time it takes you to complete your academic program.
- The school you are enrolling at must have the authority from the Department of Homeland Security to issue Form I-20.
- You must be skilled in English or be enrolled in English language courses.
- Can’t engage in unauthorized employment in the United States.
- Also it is required that you have enough funds available to support your entire period of study.
- Lastly your intentions must be to return to your home country upon completion of studies.
- It is possible for you to convert this visa to a temporary work visa (OPT) upon completion of your studies.
To find out more about the procedural steps involved and an estimate of fees, call or email us today for your free in-depth consultation!