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What Is an F-1 Visa?

by Rohana Chomick
  • Overview

    Non-U.S. college students need an F-1 visa.
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    International students wishing to study at a college or university in the United States are required to have an F-1 student visa. The visa comes with strict rules, which must be adhered to in order to study in the United States.
  • Home Ties

    The student must have a permanent residence in his home country and plan to return there upon completion of his U.S. studies. This must be evident through such avenues as bank accounts, immediate family or a letter offering employment in the home country after graduation.
 
  • Finances

    The F-1 visa allows a student to work up to 20 hours a week on campus. However, the student must have sufficient non-U.S. financial support to provide for tuition and living expenses during his time at the university.
  • University Acceptance

    The student can only attend the academic institution that accepted him and for which the F-1 visa was granted. Full-time attendance is required. After graduation, a one-year practical training interval may be approved.
  • Application

    Students should apply for the F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country of permanent residence. Applying outside the country of residence could create difficulties in attaining the visa.
  • Department of Homeland Security

    The Department of Homeland Security allows international students entering the United States for the first time to come into the country only up to 30 days in advance of the university semester start date.

    References & Resources