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F-1 Student Visa

An F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic program or English Language Program at a US college or university. F-1 students must maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. They can remain in the US up to 60 days beyond the length of time it takes to complete their academic program, unless they have applied and been approved to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT Program.

F1 students are expected to complete their studies by the expiration date on their I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status) which is provided by the US college or university that the student has been accepted to and will attend.

F1 Visa Qualifications:

In order to qualify, applicants need to satisfy and prove several strict criteria during an F1 visa interview, including the following:

Foreign Residence

F-1 applicants must have a foreign residence and must intend to return there upon the completion of their studies.

Sponsoring Institution

While on your F-1 visa, you may only study at the academic institution through which the visa was granted.

Financial Support

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial support — the Study USA Financing Guide can help you prepare for this aspect of your time abroad.

Ties to Home Country

All applicants must demonstrate that they have strong ties to their home country. Strong ties consist of, but are not limited to, the following