All You Need To Know About F1 - Student Visa - Fakaza Jobs

All You Need To Know About F1 – Student Visa

If you are a student who wishes to attend educational institutions in the United States, then, the F1 visa is for you. It includes elementary school to university and graduates’ school, and also other degrees.

How can I be eligible to apply for an F1 Visa?

Not everyone is qualified to apply for an F1 visa, there are certain requirements you must meet and they are:

  • You must first be accepted into an institution recognized by the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) because the SEVP has a list of institutions that meets the requirements and admit international students. That being said, before you apply, check if your chosen institution is listed in the SEVP, and if it is, you can commence applying, but if it is not there, you shouldn’t bother to apply since you will not get the student visa even if you are accepted into the school.
  • You must be admitted as a full-time student and not part-time.
  • You must prove that you have a good relationship with your home country by providing a document that shows that after your educational program, you will be able to go back to your home country as a result of the strong affiliation you have with your home country
  • In as much as you are encouraged to apply for scholarship funds to reduce your financial burden, you must still show proof that you are financially able to carter for yourself and your education while in the United States.
  • You will show proof of your ability to speak the English Language effectively by presenting the result of your language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS.

What are the documents required for F1 Visa?

We have listed below the documents needed to apply for an F1 Visa:

  • You have to present your valid passport.
  • You have to present your Form DS-160 for non-immigrant visa applications
  • You have to present two photographs that meet the requirements of the US Visa Photo
  • You have to present proof of paid F1 visa fee.
  • You have to present your Form I-20 which indicates the amount of money you need to pay for your education and living expenses in the US. Also, you have to provide evidence that you have that amount readily available and you can achieve this by presenting different documents like:
    • Document showing your bank statements for the past 3 years
    • Document showing your tax records for the past 3 years
    • Document showing your pay stubs of past employment
    • If any, a document showing you have received a scholarship.
    • We will also advise that you pay a semester’s or a year’s worth of tuition though not compulsory.
    • You will need to submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and bank statements for the past three years of the person that will sponsor you in the United States, also, you have to submit Form I-134.
    • In a situation whereby you are funding your US education through a loan, you must present proof of the approved loan
  • You must present documents that will serve as evidence of your past education and present qualifications:
    • Documents shoeing your original transcripts
    • Documents showing standardized test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, etc.)
    • Document showing acceptance letters from the educational institution which admitted you
    • Documents showing past degree diplomas
  • You must present evidence of purchased health insurance for international students.

How can you apply for an F1 Visa?

Below is the process you have to go through if you want to apply for the F1 visa:

  1. You have to obtain your admissions documents from the SEVP institution.
  2. You have to apply online via the DS-160 form.
  3. You have to pay the application fee.
  4. You have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
  5. You have to schedule your F1 visa interview.
  6. You have to present the file with the F1 visa required documents.
  7. You have to be present for the student visa interview.

Obtain your admissions documents from the Student Exchange Visitor Program institution

After the school you applied to have accepted you into the school, they are expected to complete some steps so that you will be qualified to apply for the F1 visa and the essential document you must possess is Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. You will not be permitted to attend the Student visa interview without this document.

Pay the application fee

For the student visa, the application fee is $160 and you have to pay it for you to obtain the receipt that you will need for your interview documents later. Extra fees may apply depending on your country of origin and the United States Embassy you are applying from.

Schedule your F1 visa interview

When you are done paying the fees, you have to proceed to schedule your interview and this interview is compulsory. We strongly advise that you schedule it as early as possible, because you may be delayed as a result of the heavy workload of the United States Embassy. You will be issued an appointment letter after you have scheduled the interview.

Go for the student visa interview

Get your documents ready and when you go for the interview, you will be asked questions about your going to the United States and the institution you are going to. In addition to this, the interviewer will try to evaluate if you have intentions of returning to your home country after your degree.

The processing time for an F1 visa

Interestingly, this is the last step, you will get the response on this visa immediately after the interview in most cases because, at the end of the visa interview, you might be congratulated for getting the visa. Sadly, you might also be given a document indicating the reason for denial. This is so because the processing of this type of visa takes place before your interview, and as we have stated earlier, the interview is the last step for the US Embassy to evaluate you and know if they should issue the visa or not.

When you can apply for the F1 Visa?

You can apply for the visa 120 days before you are scheduled to start your program that is after you are accepted into the institution of your choice. Due to processing times, applying later is risky and you are not permitted to apply any earlier. That is to say that, as soon as the 120-day countdown begins, ensure that you submit your application.

Is it possible for me to stay longer than my visa permits?

Upon your visa expiration, you are given a 60 day grace period to get ready for your departure to your home country, but in case your visa doesn’t include the whole time that you will be in school in the United States, then you have to apply for either renewal or extension of your visa, and this can be one only if you can prove that you will be completing your degree in the United States and you have intentions of returning as soon as you are done.

How you can work as an International Student in the US?

Since your visa is a student and not a work visa, you can only work for a short period of time. Furthermore, you are permitted to work on-campus part-time during school sessions and then full-time when they are on breaks. 

In a case where you want to work outside of campus, and your job needs a different type of visa that is not F1, you are qualified to change your status by going through the instructions of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Is it possible for an F1 Student to apply for Permanent Residence?

Irrespective of the fact that you have proved that you have strong ties to your home country, you can still apply for a Green Card if you wish to though it is a complex process. It is either you apply by yourself as a person with extraordinary abilities, marry in the United States, or show proof that you are able to invest $500,000 in the economy of the United States.

If any of the aforementioned ways are not possible for you, the simplest way you can achieve this is to change your status into various types of visas like an H-1B visa and get your employer to sponsor you.

Can an F1 visa holder travel Beyond the US?

F1 visa holders travel during school breaks or as a result of an emergency, they could be traveling to their home countries or any other country, nevertheless, there are certain instructions you must adhere to before you plan and book your travel to make sure that you can enter the United States when you are back.

Is it possible for me to bring my family members to the United States?

It is possible but with an F2 visa, your dependents like a spouse or unmarried children below the age of 21 years, are also permitted to come to the United States too. 

For an F2 visa, dependents must complete the application process and meet the requirements listed below:

  • You have to be the spouse of a certified F1 visa holder, or
  • You have to be the unmarried child below 21 years old of a certified F1 visa holder
  • They must be financially able to support the family during their stay in the United States.

In conclusion, an F1 visa is for international students who wish to study in the United States, therefore, if you fall under this category, we believe that by the virtue of this article, you are able to know everything pertaining to this visa.

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