F-1 (Visa)


F-1 (Visa)
If you would like to study as a full-time student in the United States, you will need a student visa.
 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student Visa) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
 

GENERALLY REQUIRED EVIDENCE

• I-20 from a school approved by USCIS showing that you enrolled as a full-time student
• Evidence of sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study
• Evidence of your permanent residence in your home country which you have no intention of giving up
 

PROCEDURE

 
A. Change of Status in the United States

Stage 1: Collecting Evidence        
Stage 2: Submit Petition to USCIS        
Stage 3: Approval      
   
B. Consular Processing outside the United States
Stage 1: Collecting Evidence        
Stage 2: Submit a Petition to the US Embassy        
Stage 3: Interview at the US Embassy        
Stage 4: Approval/Return of Passport & Visa

TIME FRAMES

A. Change of Status in the United States
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 2 months
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 3 months

B. Consular Processing outside the United States
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 2 months
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 2 months (depending on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to)
Stage 3 to Stage 4: about 1 week (depending on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to)

EXCEPTIONS & NOTICE

A. Period of Stay: depends on the duration of your study
B. F-1 visa holder’s employment: F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have studied for one academic year. These three types of employment are:     
1) Curricular Practical Training (CPT)     
2) Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)     
3) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
C. F-1 visa holder’s off-campus employment must be related to their area of study.

Siyuan Chang