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F-1 Academic Student

F-1 Visa Introduction

F-1 Visa is Suitable for foreign natinals qualified to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories, or academic high schools in the U.S. or U.S. institutions with language training programs


1.F-1 students are considered in status for the entire length of time (duration of status) during which he/she is enrolled as a full-time student in an educational program, plus any authorized period of practical training (employment) and an additional sixty (60) days to prepare for departure.
2.You can enter the U.S. as a fulltime academic or language student
3.You can legally work part-time on-campus and you may also work off-campus if necessary
4.You have the right to take up employment as a part of your optional practical training
5.You can travel in and out of the U.S. or stay in the U.S. till you complete the studies.
6.You can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to live with you in the U.S.


1.Sufficient funds available to him or her to support him or herself completely during the entire proposed course of study.
2.Documentation evidencing nonimmigrant intent, such as a residence abroad, ties to your home country like a job, ownership of a property, etc.
3.Completed Form I-20 from the school you attend.
4.Enrolled in an academic full-course education program, not a vocational-type program.
5.Enrolled in a school approved for the attendance of foreign students.
6.Proficient in English or enrolled in English language courses leading to proficiency.
7.Upon initial admission, the alien must intend to attend the school specified on the F-1 visa.

Employment Opportunities for F-1 Visa Students

1.On-campus employment - Can begin as soon as admitted as F-1 Visa Student.
2.Off-campus work authorization - Severe economic hardship only.
3.OPT- Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) (12 months, plus two months grace period) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students in status an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus, and it is considered to be part of the program (Students enrolled in English language training programs are not eligible for practical training after completion of studies). Start to apply for OPT three months before your scheduled graduation date, but not earlier than that date.You can also apply for your OPT 60 days after your graduation and should check with foreign student advisor for updated information.


1.Students who fail to maintain full-time course enrollment may loose their lawful immigration status and may not be able to continue their education in the United States.
2. Optional practical training employment is automatically terminated when the student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level.
3. Required to report any change of name or address, or interruption of such employment to the DSO.

Change into H-1B status

1.Many F-1 students ask their employers to file an H-1B petition for them because the employee and the employer have known each other's perspectives during the practical training period. More important, F-1 students can maintain legal status after completion of program and work in the U.S.
2. The first step for an F-1 holder is to find an employer that is willing to file an H-1B petition on his behalf. The employer then files an H-1B petition for the alien. Thereafter, if the H-1B petition is approved, the alien is granted an H-1B status. As a general rule, an individual may remain in the U.S. in H-1B status for a maximum total duration of six years.

F-2 (Spouse and Children of F-1)

F-2 visas/status is issued / granted to the F-1 holder's spouse and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age. Holders of F-2 are considered to be the dependents of F-1 holders. F-2 holders may be entitled to enter and remain in the United States for the duration of the F-1 holder's authorized duration of stay. Their duration of valid stay is the same as that of the F-1 holder. The F-2 spouse and minor children of an F-1 student shall each be issued an individual SEVIS Form I-20.

As an F-2 spouse you may not engage in full time study and F-2 child may only engage in full time elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade) study. F-2 spouse or child may engage in a study that is vocational or recreational in nature. Moreover, F-2 holder may not take up paid employment while in the U.S.

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