The F1 academic student visa is the most widely issued visa to foreign individuals who want to study in the United States. This visa permits individuals enrolled in an accredited U.S. college, university, seminary, conservatory, high school, elementary school or other academic institution, including an intensive English language program, to enter the U.S. as a full-time student.
Before you can apply for an F1 academic student visa, you must be accepted by an institution that has been approved by the U.S. government as a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) school—meaning, the school is authorized to accept international students.
Additionally, in order to qualify for the F1 visa, you must be enrolled full-time at an SEVP school in an academic program or course of study that will result in the award of a degree, diploma or certificate.
In addition to meeting the institutional and program requirements, you will also be required to prove certain other conditions before you will be awarded an F1 visa, including:
If you are entering the U.S. under an F1 student visa, you will generally be permitted to remain in the country for as long as it takes to finish your academic program, within the time limits set by your school. After the completion of your degree, you will be given an additional 60 days to leave the United States.
In addition to allowing you pursue your studies, the F1 student visa also provides for your qualifying dependent family members to accompany you to the U.S. and remain with you throughout the duration of your educational program through the F2 visa program.
Students entering the country under an F1 visa may also be eligible to participate in Occupational Practical Training (OPT), which would extend the time period you are permitted to remain in the U.S. In order to qualify for OPT you must perform work directly related to your primary area of study. You can participate in OPT while you are in school, after the completion of your program, or a combination of both.
The procedure for applying for an F1 academic student visa can be quite lengthy and consists of several different steps. Each Towson immigration attorney at our firm is here to help direct you through the application process from start to finish. We know that you are anxious to successfully complete your application so that you can pursue your studies in the United States. Our firm will assist you in filling out all of the necessary paperwork and we will advise you on how to prepare for any required interviews. We understand how the student visa process works and are highly skilled in representing students seeking to enter the U.S. under the F1 academic student category.
If you have questions about the F1 academic student visa or other types of visa categories we encourage you to contact a Towson immigration attorney at our law firm today. Miranda & Weisman offers free consultations. You can reach us at 410-321-4994, or by completing our online contact form.