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More About F-1 Visa For Students

If you are looking to seriously study full-time in American University or college for an academic program which has been approved and accredited by the US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and student exchange programs, you are eligible for F-1 visa. It is valid for as long as the student needs to complete the duration of the academic program and is eligible for work on campus.

It is essential that the college or university that you apply to has been given due recognition and approval by the SEVP. After the college admits your application, Form I-20 is issued and based on that you will need to fill in the Form-I-901 along with the required Student Exchange Visitor Program fee. It is only after that you can schedule an interview at the US Consulate in your country. After due considerations, you may or may not be granted the student visa including the F-1, J-1 or M-1.

Basically, you’ll need to get all your documents in order before you are scheduled for an interview. Some of the main documents that you’ll need include the Form I-20, I-901 SEVIS receipt, details of program of study, valid passport and old passports, all of your academic transcripts/certificates of different institutions and proof of funds that will cover tuition and living expenses in USA. There are numerous housing options available for foreign students and if you are looking to stay with an American family under the ‘Home-stay’ housing option, you’ll need to register early.

Students with an F-1 visa are eligible to apply and pursue practical training that aids employment after they complete the course. The specialized training is for a total duration of a year it can be extended to over 2 years and 5 months for those studying for a degree in mathematics, technology, science and engineering. After completing the training and the academic degree, they have to depart from US within 2 months. F-1 visa gives the international students to join any of the full-time language and academic programs which culminates in a certification or a degree. You can switch schools and even academic programs after notifying USCIS under a specific procedure.

However F-1 visa is not applicable if you are looking to study at publicly funded schools including high school or adult education centers, unless of course you can pre-pay the total cost of the year’s education for the secondary school.

For foreign nationals studying on an F-1 visa, their dependants including spouse and children below the age of 18 years can accompany them on an F-2 visa. This just means that you have been given the permission to come to US for a specific purpose. However, applying for an F-1 visa can be a cumbersome process and there are numerous steps that must be met with different government agencies before you are given permission to enter USA to study. Though you can apply for the visa on your own, it might be better if you take professional legal assistance from an immigration attorney or service to help you with the documentation and briefing about the consulate interviews.