Click to see the quick check-list for F-1 Visa
Â How do I qualify for F-1 visa?
To qualify for F-1 visa, you must:
â€¢ Be proficient in English, unless you are coming to the U.S. to participate in an English language training program. In some cases the school may make special arrangements to teach you English
â€¢ Prove that you have sufficient funds to complete your education
â€¢ Be coming to attend a full course of study by a school approved by the USCIS
â€¢ Have Form I-20A-B issued by your school
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*Please note that this is only quick checklist. The documents may vary depending on your circumstances.
Â More questions about F-1 visa
Â What privileges do I enjoy on F-1 visa?
On F-1 visa, you may:
â€¢ Come to the U.S. as a full time academic or language student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate
â€¢ Transfer from one school to another or switch academic programs by notifying the change to the USCIS
â€¢ Legally work part time on-campus. You may even seek off-campus employment if it is economically necessary or if it involves practical training
â€¢ Travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. until the completion of your studies
â€¢ Bring your dependents on F-2 visa
Â Can I extend my stay in the U.S. on F-1 visa if I am unable to complete my studies in the assigned time?
Yes, you may apply for extension of stay if you need extra time to complete your studies. Your Form I-20 can be extended by the designated school official. The I-20 extension should be filed along with your passport, Form I-94, Arrival-Departure document, a letter stating the reason for your extension.
Â Can I change my status while Iâ€™m on F-1?
Yes, you may apply for change of status while on F-1 visa. The most preferred change is F-1 to H-1B. You may avail of other options like M-1, H-3.
Â Can I work on F-1 visa?
Yes, you may work on-campus on F-1 visa. However, you may not work off-campus during the first academic year. You must prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your education and living expenses while applying for the visa. This category of Employment Authorization recognizes that â€˜unforeseen circumstances beyond the studentâ€™s controlâ€™ provide legitimate reasons to request off-campus work permission.
Â How do I apply for F-1 visa?
â€¢ Completed Form DS-160, Non-immigrant Visa Application. Each applicant should submit a separate application
â€¢ A passport valid for travel to the U.S and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay
â€¢ Two photographs (37 x 37mm), showing full face, without head covering, against a light background
â€¢ Letter of admission from the school you plan to study in
â€¢ The signed Form I-20A-B
â€¢ A statement that you will leave the U.S. after the completion of your study
â€¢ Proof of permanent residence in your home country, which you do not intend to abandon
Note: The Form I-20 does not guarantee receipt of an F-1 visa. The local Consular official makes the final decision on the issue of a student visa
Â What are the limitations of F-1 visa?
On F-1 visa, you may:
â€¢ Work off-campus only with prior USCIS permission
â€¢ Attend the specific educational institution for which your visa has been approved
â€¢ Bring your dependents, but they may not work in U.S
â€¢ Not apply for a U.S. Green Card