Foreign individuals wishing to study at a United States-based
college or university may gain authorization to live and work in
the US during their course of study by obtaining the F-1 student
non-immigrant visa. Generally, in order to obtain this
visa, a US-based accredited educational institution must file a
petition with the USCIS to indicate their sponsorship of a
prospective student for the visa.
F-1 status is
available to individuals attending an accredited education
institution for a “full-time” course of education, or at least
20 hours per week of study. Various other requirements may
apply on a case-by-case basis related to the beneficiary’s
background and/or the US institution.
The F-1 visa is a temporary visa that grants lawful resident
status to its holders only for the term of the visa. It does
not entitle its holder to permanent resident status in the
United States. The F-1 student
visa is normally issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the
student’s home country, and may be extended under certain
on F-1 Student Visa:
Foreign students may
enter the United States multiple times if they hold a valid
F-1 Student Visa.
It is important that
the F-1 Student Visa holders have all the necessary
documents and signed authorizations to avoid any problems at
the U.S. port of entry.
The passport must also
be valid for a certain amount of time in order to be granted
F-1 Visa holders can
also travel freely within the within the United States.
Working on F-1 Student Visa:
Students may work on
campus as long as they are enrolled in school.
Students may apply for
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to gain work experience
in their field of study while being a full time student.
Students may take
advantage of Optional Practical Training (OPT) once the
degree is completed as a full time employee.
Many students obtaining
a bachelor or master's degree in the United States go on to
be sponsored by their employer for an
H-1B Work Visa.