F1 - STUDENT VISA
What Is a F-1 Visa?
The F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits
foreign students to study at institutions accepted by the Student
and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). If you're looking to study
at an American university or college, the F-1 visa is likely the
student visa for you– but only after an accredited institution
accepts your application.
Applying for an F-1 Visa
You must first be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor
Program (SEVP)-certified school. Upon acceptance, the institution
will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant Student Status (Form I-20). You will need
this document to apply for your visa.
If you are transferring from another SEVP-certified school, you
will use a new Form I-20. The new designated school official (DSO)
will issue the form after they have entered your information
into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Once you have the required form, you can begin the visa
application process. The first step is to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
After paying the fee, you will need to schedule an interview
at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to bring your
passport, SEVIS Form I-20, evidence of financial support
and other required documents to your interview.
F-1 Visa Requirements
To qualify for a student visa, you must prove to a consular officer
- Plan to attend a SEVP-certified school
- Have sufficient funds available for your tuition and living expenses
- Intend to return to your home country after completing your
studies in the United States
When applying for a student visa, you will need to show proof that
you have the financial resources available to cover your tuition and
living expenses while in the United States. You can do this by
providing bank statements or an affidavit of support from
your parents or other sponsors.
After You Arrive in the United States
As a student on an F-1 visa, you will be required to maintain your
student status. This means that you must:
- Keep your SEVIS record up-to-date
- Pursue a full course of study
- Make normal progress toward completing your program
- Obtain prior approval before making any changes to your
program of study
- Notify your DSO of any changes in your contact information
- Notify your DSO if you drop below a full course of study or
withdraw from your program
- Apply for a practical training opportunity (if applicable)
- Request an extension of your program, if necessary
If you violate the terms of your student visa, you may be subject to
removal from the United States. You may also lose your eligibility
for a future visa.
F-1 Visa Duration
The F-1 student visa is valid for the duration of your student status.
This means that you can stay in the United States as long as you are
enrolled in a SEVP-certified school and maintaining your student status.
If you need to extend your stay in the United States, you must file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), keep in mind that once you finish your program, you will have a grace period of 60 days to leave the US.
Let a student visa layer help you on your journey to getting educated in the United States.