F-1 Status

The F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for international students who are qualified to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories, academic high schools (subject to strict regulations) and institutions with language-training programs in the United States.

Benefits of the F-1 Visa

  • You can enter the United States as a full-time academic or language student.
  • You can legally work part time on campus and full time during scheduled school breaks (including summer).
  • You are eligible to take up employment as a part of your optional practical training (OPT).
  • You can travel in and out of the United States or remain here until the completion of your studies.
  • You can bring your dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) to live with you.

Requirements for the F-1 Visa

To be eligible for an F-1 visa, you must prove that:

  • You have been accepted for a full course of study by an educational institution approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The institution must send you an I-20 in order for you to apply for the F-1 visa.
  • You are sufficiently proficient in English to pursue the intended course of study, or the school you intend to attend has made special arrangements to teach you the English language.
    Note: You may be exempt from this requirement if you intend to come to the U.S. to participate exclusively in an English language-training program.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover the first year of study, and access to sufficient funds to cover subsequent years.
  • You have permanent residence in your home country, which you do not intend to abandon after completing your studies in the U.S.
  • You intend to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study. You may establish this by presenting evidence of economic, social and/or family ties in your homeland sufficient to induce you to leave the United States upon completion of studies.
  • Your proposed education in the United Sttes would be useful in your homeland, and therefore induce you to leave upon completion of studies.