F-1 Student Visa

An F-1 student visa offers international students and their families the opportunity to live in the United States legally while studying at many different types of approved academic facilities. Some students may be eligible to work at certain jobs while in the U.S. on an F-1 visa as well.

To receive an F-1 visa, applicants must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the requirements. Because an F-1 visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa, applicants must show that they have connections to their home country and an intention to return. Any suggestion that a student visa is being used fraudulently could cause authorities to deny the application. To avoid problems, many visa applicants engage an experienced attorney to provide assistance during the application process or representation if a problem arises.

The experienced immigration lawyers at Luis F. Hess, PLLC know how to help applicants obtain visas while avoiding common pitfalls that can cause delays or denials. We work hard to ensure that our clients achieve their goals.

Eligibility for an F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa is for students undertaking academic study in the U.S. Students who want to come to the U.S. to study through a non-academic vocational program apply for a different type of visa. To be qualify for an F-1 visa, an applicant must:

  • Live outside the U.S. and maintain significant ties to the home country
  • Speak English well or be enrolled in English language courses
  • Have proof of monetary support sufficient to pay for study in the U.S.
  • Enroll as a full time student
  • Be accepted into a program at an academic institution approved by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Approved schools include not only colleges, but primary and secondary schools, seminaries, and other institutions.

In addition, as noted above, the student applicant must demonstrate connections to the home country that establish an intent to return after studies are completed.

The F-1 Visa Process

Enrollment in an SEVP school starts the process of adding the student to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The student will need to pay the SEVIS fee and then the school will issue a Form I-20 confirming enrollment and eligibility for an F-1 visa. It is important to keep a copy of this form.

The next steps in the process will vary somewhat according to the rules of the local U.S. embassy or consulate. Generally, a student will need to complete the detailed DS-160 form, pay the required fees, and schedule an interview at the embassy or consulate in their home country.

At the interview, immigration officials will review the application and supporting evidence and ask questions about that evidence. It is important to answer questions truthfully and completely.

Find Out How a Student Visa Lawyer Could Assist with the Process

The window of time a student has to apply for a student visa has recently been shortened, so is it important to get the documentation and other requirements fulfilled correctly to avoid delays that could wreak havoc with your academic schedule. When you work with an experienced student visa lawyer at Luis F. Hess, PLLC, your legal advisor can help ensure that all requirements are completed and that you have persuasive documentation to show that you meet qualifications and have no fraudulent intentions. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.