F-1 Students

The wide variety of educational facilities in the United States offer great opportunities for students wishing to further their education and training. The intellectual stimulation and social experiences of studying in the US will be vital parts of a student’s growth and development.

Foreign national students who want to study in the US usually apply for the F-1 visa. Although the J-1 and M-1 Visas (for vocational students) are sometimes used, most foreign students enter in F-1 status.

There is no application filed with the U.S. immigration service in advance. Instead, the prospective student must first obtain a certificate of eligibility (Form I-20) from the academic institution where he or she will enroll.  The I-20, along with a nonimmigrant visa application and supporting documentation are then submitted directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country.  Once the visa is issued, the foreign national student travels to the U.S. and is admitted in F-1 status.

The spouse and minor children of an F-1 student may enter the U.S. in F-2 status.  Separate Forms I-20 for each dependent are required.

Generally, foreign students are not allowed to be employed in the U.S.  However, there are employment opportunities for such students to obtain pre-graduation practical or practical training in their field upon completion of their educational program.  F-2 dependents are not eligible for employment authorization.