Visa F1

Document Sample
Visa F1 Powered By Docstoc
					F-1 Student Non-Immigrant Visa

          F1 visa category is reserved for academic students enrolled in colleges, universities, high schools,
language training programs, and other academic institutions. The other student visa is M-1, for non-
academic vocational studies. Spouse and unmarried children under 21 of a student may come to the United
States in F2 or M2 visa status.
What are the requirements for F1 student visas?

         You must be attending an academic institution or a language-training program;
         You must be enrolled as a full-time student;
         The school must be be approved by the USCIS to accept foreign students;
         You must show sufficient financial support to complete the study;
         You must prove that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residency.

How do I apply for an F-1 visa if I’m outside the U.S.?

          If you have been accepted to a school, you can expect to receive a Form I-20, Certificate of
Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status. Bring the form I-20, visa application forms (DS-156, DS-
158, and DS-157 for certain applicants), and evidence of financial support to the appropriate US consulate
to apply for an F-1 student visa. You should also bring other supporting documents including previous
transcripts and test scores such as TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc. Your spouse and/or children should
accompany you to the interview. Each will require a separate I-20 form, if they intend to accompany you to
the United States. Family members enter with you on the F-2 Visa. Your family may also file F2
applications after you have entered the United States and begun studies.

How do I prove that I have sufficient funds to support my study?

          A consular officer will review your documents during the interview and determine whether you have
enough money to live and study in the United States. The best evidence is documentation of financial
support from the institution. i.e. fellowships, scholarships, teaching/research assistantships and tuition
waivers. The type of financial support and the amount is listed on Form I-20 which you receive from the
schools officer at the institution.

If you do not receive financial assistance from the institution, or if your funds are insufficient, you may need
to present other materials such as recent bank statements and verification of your parents’ income. Be
prepared to explain the sources and availability of the funds during the visa interview.

U.S. consular officers are well trained on issues surrounding the economy and history of your home
country. They understand the fact that many working families in many countries may not have enough funds
to support a full-time student in the United States. So, some form of school financial aid is essential in many

How long may I stay in the U.S. as an F1 student?

         When you enter the US, an immigration officer at the port of entry will issue you an I-94 card that
indicates your non-immigrant status (F1) and your authorized stay. It is typically “Duration of Status” or “D/S”
on a student’s I-94 card, meaning that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in the school
to complete your academic program. After the program ends, or your practical trains period ends, you will
have 60 days to depart the U.S.

Do not confuse your authorized duration of stay with the visa validity, which is an expiration date specified
on your passport’s visa page. You may travel to the US border at any time before your F1 visa expires, but
your authorized stay (an actual date or D/S) will be granted by USCIS at that point.

May I transfer to a different school?

         Yes. You must notify your current school and work with the designated school official (DSO) to
transfer your SEVIS record. You also need to obtain a new I-20 from your new school, and give the
completed I-20 to your new DSO within 15 days of transfer date.

May I travel outside the US?

         Yes. You may return to the US after an absence of no more than five months. You must have a
new F1 visa if your original one has expired. Have your designated school official sign your I-20 before
leaving the US.

May I work as an F1 student?

         Yes. You may work on-campus, or off-campus after one year of study, but with restrictions. Click
here for more details on student employment. Contact your school's immigration specialist for specific
questions. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of immigration terms and will have severe
consequences. F2 dependents are not allowed to work.

Shared By: