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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.

F-1 Visa, Foreign Student Studying in the U.S.

The F student visa allows foreigners to enter the U. S. solely for the purpose to study, as a full time student only, at an accredited;

  1. College,
  2. University,
  3. Seminary,
  4. Conservatory,
  5. Academic High School, if student reimburses the school, for a maximum attendance of 1 year, but not public adult education,
  6. Elementary School, or in a
  7. Language Training Program,

for a term up to the full academic program or 60 months, plus all available Practical Training, whether Curricular, Optional or STEM Optional. Transfer to another approved school is permitted. The student can arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before commencement of the program and must depart within 60 days after it is over.

If desirous of U.S. entry prior to this time an additional B-2 visitor visa will be necessary to be procured with notification of "Prospective Student" on it. Intent to depart upon completion must be demonstrated and can be illustrated by; family relationships, foreign community ties, foreign property & economic interests and foreign employment prospects.

The F student must intend to depart after the studies are completed, know English & where necessary demonstrate English proficiency by successfully passing a TOEFL examination and have sufficient funds to support itself while in the U.S. The student's family can provide a USCIS Form I-131, Affidavit of Support, when necessary.


Processing of the F-1 visa requires the online filing of Form DS-160, a printed confirmation page, the SEVIS school generated Certificate of Eligibility, I-20, proof of payment of the SEVIS fee using form I-901, the necessary accompanying documentation, a passport valid for 6 months beyond the extended U.S. stay, a visa fee of $140 payable during Consular Processing and an Application fee based upon the Reciprocity Fee of the home country.

If already in the U.S. under another visa type, the foreigner can elect to Change Status to F-1 visa. A USCIS Form I-579, Certificate of Eligibility, I-20, appropriate documents, copy of the I-94, a filing fee of $290, an attorney G-28 and a G-1145 for electronic notification should complete the task. It is important to realize that vacating the U.S. during this Change of Status process will void the F-1 visa application.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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Charleston USA Immigration Law Center, LLP - Immigration Lawyer in Charleston, SC
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