F1 Study Visa USA

In the United States, the F visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa which are issued only by the US embassies and consulates outside US to studens who wish to pursue education, either academic studies and/or language training programs in the States. However you need to show your eligibility of supporting yourselves during your stay as the opportunities for legal employment are quite limited. Before that, you need to apply for a form I − 20 from the school you will pursue education in order to apply for an F − 1 visa. Also there are F − 2 visas which are given to dependents of an F − 1 student but they are not allowed any form of compensated employment. However, minor children may attend public schools.

Steps to acquire a F1 Visa

  • Select the city where you would like to study in USA (United States of America).
  • Choose the school where you would like to study, for example Stanford, Harvard etc.
  • Visit the school website and look for the requirements of any entrance tests. After clearing the requirements, apply to the school.
  • If you get an admission to the school, it will provide you with an I − 20 form which is required for application of F − 1 visa.
  • You may now apply for an F − 1 student visa at a US Embassy or Consulate (Existing in your own country). However if you are a localite, you may be allowed to change your immigration status to student.

There are three types of F visa:

  • F − 1 visas-These visas are for full-time students.
  • F − 2 visas-These are for spouses and children i.e.. Dependants of F − 1 visa holders.
  • F − 3 visas-These visas are specially for “border commuters” of Mexico and Canada who reside in their country of origin while attending school in the United States. The course they pursue may be part or full time.

Other Important points

  • Students should be able to prove their eligibility of supoorting themselves and paying the fees during the duration of their stay in US.
  • Whether they have any intention of returning to their country, once the visa expires should be clarified.
  • Whether you are going to US for a part time course or a full-time study (minimum of 12 semester hours on the university level or equivalent) should be known.
  • Your English should be efficient enough. Or you should be enrolled in a course of study which will make you proficient in the language.
  • It is necessary that you obtain the I − 20 form before applying for a visa.
  • Citizens of all countries are eligible to apply for a student visa.

Job allowed or not in F1 Visa

The students who have F − 1 visa are not allowed to work except for on-campus employment of 20 hours a week or less. Else they have to ask for permission from Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It may grant work authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students can work for total 14 months towards practical training (eg. Internship), which can be distributed between Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). An interim order was passed on April 8, 2008 allowing students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to legally work under OPT for 29 months. During the period of OPT, a student having F − 1 will not be allowed to accrue more than 90 days of unemployment.