An F1 student visa to study in the USA is granted to international students who are enrolling in an academic program or English Language course at a US college or university. F1 students are required to maintain the minimum course load for full-time student standing. They can stay in the US up to 60 days past the duration of time it takes to conclude their academic program unless they have applied and been permitted to remain and work for a length of time under the OPT Program.
F1 students are required to conclude their education by the expiration date on their I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status) which is issued by the US college or university that the candidate has been accepted to and will enroll.
F1 Visa Qualifications
So as to qualify, candidates are required to satisfy and demonstrate several strict criteria during an F1 visa interview, comprising the following:
- Foreign Residence
F1 candidates are required to have a foreign residence and have to intend to return there upon the conclusion of their education.
- Sponsoring Institution
While on your F1 visa, you are only allowed to study at the academic institution through which the visa was issued.
- Financial Support
Candidates must prove satisfactory financial support. Your institution can provide an estimate of your total cost per year.
- Ties to Home Country
All candidates must prove that they have strong ties to their home nation.
Strong ties include, but are not restricted to, the following:
- A job offer letter upon conclusion of the schooling
- Assets (i.e., house, land, vehicle, etc.)
- Bank accounts
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Applying for an F1 Student Visa to Study in the USA
- Admission Requirements
Different universities have different admission policies. Your institution will inform you what they need to decide if you are academically qualified. Among other criteria, you will be required to show the school that you possess enough funds to support yourself while schooling without having to work and you may be required to possess health insurance in order to cover any medical costs should you require any medical assistance. Once the institution has established that your application is complete and you are academically qualified, they will grant you an I-20 form to allow you to apply for your student visa.
- Where to Apply for Your F1 Student Visa
Candidates for student visas should typically apply at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy with authority over their place of permanent residence. This will usually be your home nation — the nation in which you reside. Although visa candidates may submit an application at any U.S. consular office overseas, it may be more demanding to qualify for the visa outside the nation of permanent residence.