What is an F-1 Student Visa?
The F-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for applicants who wish to come to the U.S. for academic studies and/or language training programs. With an F-1 visa, you have to show your intent to not stay indefinitely in the U.S., and that you intend on returning to your country after completing your studies.
Who Qualifies for an F-1 Visa?
In order to qualify for an F-1 visa, you must show that you are a student seeking to attend a full-time degree or academic program at a school, college, or university that has been approved by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is in compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
What Documents are Required When Filing for an F-1?
When applying for an F-1 visa, it is important to keep in mind that the steps might vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying from. Due to this, it is important to check with an immigration attorney or the embassy or consulate you are applying to. The first step when applying for an F-1 visa is to go online and fill out a Form DS-160. After you complete the online form submit it and print a copy of the confirmation page which you will need to bring to your interview.
After completing the DS-160, you will need to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. During your interview, be prepared to pay a visa issuance fee in addition to presenting your passport, Form DS-160, photo and Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status.
If you are already in the US on a different status and need to change status, you will provide proof of maintaining your existing status, and your I-20 as well as proof of your financial means to support your education.
If you are here on an F-1 visa, you are allowed to work, but only if you work on campus. The one loophole to this is that you may apply for the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in order to gain work experience.
When filing a petition for an F-1 visa, it is important to contact an immigration attorney. A knowledgeable immigration attorney will not only be able to help you with your application, but will also be able to help advise you and prepare you for potentially staying in the US post-graduation on an H1B or Optional Practical Training (OPT).
To schedule a consultation to discuss the F-1 student visa or other options with an attorney at American Visa Law Group, feel free to click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.