F-1 Visa for International Students and Scholars
F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is issued to a foreign national who intends to study full time in an academic institute in the U.S.
The school must decide if the student plans to take the full course load, and possess the necessary credentials and financial resources. The financial resource must be sufficient to cover the full course load of study, not just the initial year. The applicant must also evidence any scholarship or grant that she will receive from the school. The applicant must show that her intent to stay in the U.S. is temporary.
F-1 student is typically admitted for the period of time that takes her to complete the designated study.
Change of Status
If an applicant cannot decide which school to attend, she can be admitted under Visitor Visa B-2 and then transfer to F-1 when a school has been selected. Other non-immigrant visa holders may change their status to F-1.
F-1 student is authorized to work on campus for less than 20 hours a week or off campus for less than 20 hours a week if experiencing severe economic hardship. She is also authorized to intern for an international organization or work for the purpose of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).
How we can help you with your F-1 visa
- Advise you on what documents you will need to collect for your F-1 visa application.
- Arrange a certified evaluation service in the U.S. to evaluate your foreign transcript.
- Fill out DS-160 or I-539.
- Counsel on how I-134 the Affidavit of Support be filled out.
- Review your entire application to ensure that it is complete and accurate.
- Submit the materials to the proper USCIS Service Center if necessary.
- We will keep you notified about the status of your application.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is an ideal way for a foreign student to stay in the U.S. for up to one year after she finishes the degree program. USCIS extended the maximum period of OPT to 29 months for “STEM” students who study in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
The student does not have to secure employment before her OPT is approved. F-1 student can enjoy the maximum flexibility of employment during this period. She can take work full time, part time, or volunteer. She can be self-employed too. She can work with one or more than one employer, or change employers. There is no need to obtain USCIS’s approval if any of the change occurs.
The greatest benefit of OPT is that it ensures that an F-1 student has legal status in the U.S. for a period of time after completing her study while seeking a sponsoring H-1B employer.