F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa opens doors to a world-class education and countless opportunities for students worldwide. Whether you need support with your change of status application or have questions about maintaining your status, our lawyers are here to assist you.

What is an F-1 Visa?

The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows international students to study at accredited educational institutions in the United States. It is applicable to a wide range of educational levels, from elementary to postgraduate studies, including language training programs.

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    Who Qualifies for the F-1 Visa?

    To qualify for the F-1 visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Admission to School

    Accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school in the U.S.

    • Course of Study

    Enroll in a full-time academic course of study.

    • Sufficient Funds

    Provide proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition, living expenses, and other costs.

    • Ties to Home Country

    Demonstrate intent to return to the home country after completing the studies.

    How Does the Process Work?

    Step 1: Enrollment and Obtaining I-20

    First, you must enroll in an educational institution such as a language school or university and obtain an I-20 form from that institution.

    Step 2: File Preparation and Submission

    Once you receive your I-20 and provide it to us, our Change of Status department will prepare your file and send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    Step 3: Change of Status Approval

    Upon submission, typically after a few weeks, you will receive a Receipt Notice from USCIS confirming that they have started processing it. Once you receive this notice, all you need to do is wait for the final decision on your application. Typically, it takes about 3 to 6 months to get the Change of Status Approval Notice.

    Please note that we assist with the Change of Status process when the applicant comes to the U.S. with a different type of visa and wants to change to the F-1 visa status. We do not provide services about F-1 visa application procedures from the consulate.

    What Are the Benefits of the F-1 Visa?

    The F-1 visa offers several advantages:

    • Academic Opportunities

    Access to a wide range of academic programs at various educational levels.

    • On-Campus Employment

    Limited on-campus employment opportunities are available.

    • Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    Opportunities for practical training related to the field of study.

    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

    Engage in practical training as part of the academic curriculum.

    What Are the Required Application Documents?

    When applying for the F-1 visa, applicants must submit:

    • Form I-20

    Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status, issued by the school.

    • Passport

    A valid passport.

    • Financial Evidence

    Proof of financial ability to cover expenses.

    • Visa Fees

    Receipts for applicable fees.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Off-campus employment is restricted but may be permitted through CPT or OPT if it is related to the field of study.

    The F-2 Dependent Status authorizes your family members to reside within the United States. However, it expressly prohibits them from undertaking any form of paid employment or from enrolling in educational institutions.

    F-1 students are granted a 60-day grace period to depart the U.S. after completing their academic program.

    Yes, F-1 students can transfer between SEVP-certified schools with proper coordination and adherence to transfer procedures.

    The F-1 visa is for academic studies, while the M-1 visa is for vocational or non-academic studies. The rules for employment, duration of stay, and other aspects vary between the two categories.

    F-1 visa regulations strictly limit student work options. F-1 students can work on-campus for up to 20 hours weekly during the academic term and full-time during breaks without special permission. Off-campus work, including freelancing, requires authorization. Eligibility for off-campus employment may be possible through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) with certain conditions.
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