Immigration Advice Service
001 844 290 6312 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 8 pm

Find an office

7 offices in US

Menu

Attorneys based in the
USA and the UK
Licensed USA
Immigration attorneys
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

F1 Student Visa

International students who wish to enter the United States for the purposes of furthering their studies can apply for an F1 Student Visa.

Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

Request a call back from our immigration experts

What is an F1 Student Visa?

The F1 Visa allows eligible international students who wish to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, and high schools in the United States. The academic institution attended must be certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In addition, this student visa can be used by foreign nationals coming to the country to attend a language training program.

While in the country, international students are free not only to study and live in the United States but they can also travel abroad without losing their visa status. In addition, F1 visa holders can open a bank account and obtain a driver’s license.

Furthermore, the F1 Visa cannot be used to attend publicly funded adult education programs. Those who would like to pursue a course of study that is not academic, such as post-secondary vocational or business schools, should apply for an M-1 Visa.

The Student Visa does not have an annual cap, meaning that the visa application can be processed as soon as it is submitted which is only a few business days.

EXCELLENT
Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews
Reviews.io Logo

What are the F1 Visa requirements?

To be eligible for this student visa, international students must meet the following requirements:

  • They have been accepted as an international student by an educational institution in the United States approved by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Along with a letter of acceptance, they must receive a Form I-20 from their SEVP approved school.
  • Prove adequate English proficiency. Those who are applying as participants in a language training program may be exempt from this requirement
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover at least the first year of study
  • Have non-immigrant intent. This means that the foreign student must be able to prove to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that they have strong ties to their home country. In addition, they must also be willing to leave the U.S. upon their program completion
  • Have a valid passport

How to apply for an F1 Student Visa?

If you would like to apply for a student F1 visa, you will first need to apply to a SEVP-approved academic institution. For a list of SEVP-certified schools, you can go to Study in the States (an official website of the Department of Homeland Security) to search for a list of approved academic institutions.

After you have been accepted for enrollment by a SEVP-approved school, you will then be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) where you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. After the SEVIS fee payment has been made, you will then be issued Form I-20 from your school.

If you have eligible dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21) that you would like to bring with you to the United States while you study, they must also enroll in SEVIS to obtain their individual I-20 Forms for their dependent F2 visas. Dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

After you have acquired the necessary I-20 Forms, you may then begin the F-1 visa application process at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. To do this, the visa applicants will need to complete Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application), submit supporting documentation, and attend a visa interview.

After the visa interview, the visa applicant will be notified whether or not their application has been approved.

What are the required documents for an F1 Visa?

You can file your application form online or at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For the F1 Visa, you will need the following documents for your visa application:

  • Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) confirmation page
  • Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status)
  • A copy of your passport (valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay with at least one blank page)
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • Two passport-sized pictures that comply with the USCIS standards
  • Documents concerning your previous education and academic qualifications such as standardized test scores, diplomas, original transcripts, etc
  • Income tax documents or original bank statements to disclose your financial situation
  • Scores from English standardized tests, such as TOEFL or IELTS
  • Evidence of your intent to depart from the U.S. at the end of your studies

The F1 Visa interview

The last step of your application is an interview, which is required to determine whether or not you qualify for a Student Visa. If you are abroad, this will take place at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

At this visa interview, the consular officer will review your documents and ask you questions about your academic qualifications and choice of university.

You will be required to demonstrate your willingness to return to your home country at the end of your course of study. Most importantly, you will need to prove that you have enough means to finance your education and your life in the U.S.

college student

Speak with our professional immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your F-1 Visa application. Contact Us

Fill out the form

How can I prove my non-immigrant intent?

One of the F-1 Visa requirements is to prove that you do not wish to settle in the United States. To help prove that you do not want to immigrate to the United States, visa applicants must show they maintain strong ties with their home country.

To support their F-1 Visa application, visa applicants may prove their non-immigrant intent by demonstrating the following:

  • They have immediate family residing in their home country
  • They have plans to seek employment abroad after the completion of their U.S. degree
  • Frequent visits home by international students
  • The visa applicants own property or maintain a bank account in their country

How to get an F-1 visa renewal?

Your visa also indicates the amount of time you can legally stay in the U.S. This usually coincides with the total length of your studies. However, if you need extra time, you can apply for an F-1 Visa renewal.

You need to produce a letter stating the reason for your request so that your designated school official can extend your permit.

If you are going to travel abroad for a short time and your F-1 Visa will expire while you are away, you will need to re-apply for it before you can re-enter the country.

Can I lose my F1 Visa status?

If you fail to maintain your F1 Visa status, you will lose your right to live and study in the U.S.

This can happen as a result of one of the following circumstances:

  • You have been working illegally (without an Employment Authorization Document), either off-campus or on-campus
  • You overstayed your visa without seeking a renewal
  • Your transferred schools without receiving a new Form I-20
  • You failed to maintain full-time participation in your courses

Can I enter the U.S. before my F-1 Visa is issued?

You can enter the U.S. 30 days before the registration date printed on your Firm I-20. In addition, you have a further 60 day grace period in the country following the completion of your course.

If you have been admitted to a U.S. university, but are still waiting for your I-20, you may travel to the U.S. for a valid reason. For example, you may need to attend your visa interview appointment at the consulate. In this case, you can submit an application for a B-2 Visitor Visa with a “prospective student” annotation. This permit will let you enter the country for a short time.

It should be noted that foreign students may not study after entering on a visitor visa (B2 Visa) or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) unless that study is recreational, non-credit, and an allowed program of study under the B-2 Tourist visa.

Can I seek employment in the United States on an F1 Visa?

To get your F1 Visa status, you must be enrolled in a full-time program. Consequently, you may not have any free time to work. However, in limited circumstances, you may get permission to work part-time on-campus as a part of your practical training only after the first year of study is over. International students on an F-1 visa may engage in the following types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

Those who would like to work off-campus in other types of off-campus employment can do so if they can prove that they are in severe economic hardship because of unforeseen circumstances. This may include:

  • Their university reduced or eliminated their financial aid
  • Their on-campus job is terminated
  • Their institution drastically increased its cost
  • Unexpected and necessary expenses, such as medical emergencies
  • An unforeseen change in their situation, such as marriage or new-born children

What are the fees for an F-1 Visa?

Not considering the cost of education in the United States, international students will be expected to pay the following fees in order to obtain an F-1 visa:

  • Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant Visa Application) fee: $160
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee: $200
  • Visa issuance fee: costs will vary depending on the country where the visa was issued
  • Biometrics fee: $85
  • Certified translations: costs may vary
  • Costs of standardized tests: costs will vary
student library
Advice Package icon

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

Application Package icon

Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Fast Track Package icon

Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

Appeal Package icon

Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

Advice Package image

The Advice Package

With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

Fill out the form

Request the Advice Package
Application Package image

The Application Package

With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

Fill out the form

Request the Application Package
Fast Track Package image

The Fast Track Package

Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

Fill out the form

Request the Fast Track Package
Appeal Package image

The Appeal Package

By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

Fill out the form

Request the Appeal Package

Get in touch with our expert immigration attorneys to receive assistance on your visa application. Learn more

Request a call back from our immigration experts

Related pages for your continued reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

The F1 Visa is a non-immigrant permit for international students, meaning it does not create a path to U.S. settlement. Consequently, you cannot directly move from an F1 visa to a Green Card.

While on a Student Visa, you are not allowed to apply for permanent residence. This would be considered a violation of status, resulting in a temporary ban from the U.S. However, you may try to adjust your status.

One good idea could be to apply for an H-1B visa. This permit is designed for foreign nationals that hold a degree in a specialized field, such as IT, finance, or science.

However, if you do not wish to contend your place with other participants in the annual lottery, you can file your I-129 Form to petition for other visas.

Once you have obtained a dual intent visa, you may immediately file for a Green Card. For example, if you already got a master’s degree, you may want to consider an EB-2 immigrant Green Card.

Before you can petition for a new status, you must have been in F1 status for at least one academic year.

If your F1 Visa application is denied, you will receive a letter stating the USCIS’ reasons for the rejection. In the majority of cases, F1 petitions are refused because applicants fail to provide all the necessary information about their status or supporting documentation.

Other common reasons for denial include the inability to demonstrate your non-immigrant intent, fraud or misrepresentation, or unlawful presence in the U.S.

If your F1 visa application has been rejected and you wish to receive professional guidance, you can entrust your case with one of our immigration attorneys.

If your F1 visa application has been rejected and you wish to receive professional guidance, you can entrust your case with one of our immigration attorneys. IAS will assist in obtaining your F-1 Visa and deliver only the best strategy necessary for your application.

Our immigration experts offer complete attention to your case, providing a service tailored to your needs.

Your lawyer will be involved in every step of your application, offering:

  • A complete review of your case and immigration history
  • A check of your situation to assess if you meet the F1 Visa requirements
  • Comprehensive support if your application is rejected
  • Liaison with the USCIS on your behalf
  • Complete preparation for your F1 Visa interview

Get in touch today at +1 844 290 6312 or ask for a free call back to learn more about our immigration services.