F-1 student visa – ‍Step-by-Step Guide

F-1 student visa

F-1 student visa – ‍Step-by-Step Guide: F1 Student Visa, The Application Process and Interview Tips. The F-1 visa (academic student) allows entry into the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or language training program.

F1 Student Visa Application Process

Students who wish to study in the United States need to understand the F-1 student visa application process. There are over a million international students currently studying in the US, and with a little preparation and guidance, you can join them. To help you get started, we gradually collect a visa in the US to help you understand what the F-1 visa, F-1 visa rules, and F-1 visa requirements are.

US Student Visa

It is the most popular type of student visa for students seeking to study at a US university or college, and you can only apply for your F-1 visa after an accredited US institution accepts your application.

What Is an F-1 Visa?

The F-1 student visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows international students to enter the United States and study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) accredited institution. This is the most popular type of student visa for students who want to study at a US university or college, and you can only apply for an F-1 visa after your application has been accepted by an accredited US institution.

The I-20 form from your preferred university shows your program completion date. You must have the degree by the specified expiration date, which will give you an idea of ​​how long you can stay in the US.

It allows you to work in the US for up to 12 months in a field related to your studies. For STEM graduates, you can ask for an additional two years to work in a related field. If you do not have an extension or continuing education, you must return to your home country within 60 days of graduation. If you want to learn more, Shorelight can help you explore what you can do with an F-1 visa after graduation.

F-1 student visa - ‍Step-by-Step Guide
F-1 student visa – ‍Step-by-Step Guide

F-1 Visa Requirements

If you are planning to apply for an F-1 student visa, there are some F-1 visa rules to consider. For your application to be accepted, you must meet the following requirements:

Institution certification: The college or the university where you plan to study needs to be approved by SEVP Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Full-time enrollment: You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution while your academic term is in session.

English language proficiency: You must meet the required English language proficiency score of the institution you are attending or be enrolled in courses that will help you improve your English proficiency.

Sufficient funding: You must prove you have sufficient funds available to finance your studies and living expenses while in the US.

Valid passport: Your passport should be valid for US travel for at least six months after your program completion date.

Home country residency: You are required to have a residence in your home country to return to following the completion of your degree.

How to Apply for an F-1 Student Visa

Before submitting your F-1 visa application, do the following:

  • Access a SEVP-accredited institution before submitting your visa application. When you are admitted, you will receive your Form I-20, which you will need to apply for your F-1 visa.
  • Pay your SEVIS fee.
  • Complete your DS-160 visa application.
  • Schedule your visa interview.
  • Attend your visa interview.

If you are applying for an F-1 visa from India, the Shorelight F-1 Visa Guide for Indian Students is for you. Once you have completed these steps, you can complete and submit your F-1 student visa application.

F-1 Visa Application Processing

1. Get Accepted and Get Your I-20 Form

The F-1 student visa process begins when you are admitted to a SEVP-accredited US university. SEVP accreditation is the US government’s way of verifying that your college is accredited and has adequate resources to provide you with an education. Once you are admitted, your university will give you your I-20 form. This form documents your study program and provides supporting information about your accommodation.

Once your I-20 is issued, the following information will be recorded in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS):

  • Your SEVIS ID number
  • Your program start and end dates
  • Your intended program of study
  • Your funding sources
  • Cost of attendance at your school of choice
  • Other personal information

Your university provides this information based on the content submitted by your application material. Once you have received the I-20, make sure all the information is accurate, and then sign at the bottom of the first page. It can take a long time to correct errors on your I-20, and if something goes wrong, you may not be able to enter the country.

F-1 student visa
F-1 student visa

F-1 Visa Admission Requirements

Before your visa interview, make sure you have the following documents ready for the consular officer to review:

  • A valid passport
  • A copy of the photo you will use for your visa
  • Printed copies of your DS-160 and I-901 SEVIS payment confirmations
  • I-20 form
  • School transcript and official test scores cited on your university application
  • Diploma (if applicable)
  • Bank statements or other proof of finances

Additional documents:

  • Academic records such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
  • Standardized test scores required by your US institution
  • Evidence of your intent to depart the United States upon completion of your course of study
  • Statements proving your ability to pay all educational, living, and travel costs
F-1 student visa
F-1 student visa

F-1 Visa Interview

As an international student, you may feel insecure about your upcoming interview. Although it’s normal to feel nervous, don’t forget to take a deep breath and remember to be fully prepared! Your interview is important, but it shouldn’t be stressful.

Your interviewer will ask questions to determine:

  • Are you a legitimate student?
  • Do you have the resources to pay for your studies?
  • Do you plan to return home after completing your degree?

To prepare for your F-1 student visa interview, here are some questions you might be asked:

  • Why did you pick this university?
  • How will you pay for your education?
  • Which other US universities did you apply to?
  • Do you have relatives in the USA?
  • Do you plan to work while in the USA?
  • What do you plan to do after graduation?

Introducing the detailed content, and interview. They can also help you practice simulation interviews! Shore lights F-1 student visa interview guide can also help you learn more about preparing for the upcoming interview.

After completing the program, you will have a 60-day grace period to leave the United States. If you would like to extend your stay, you can speak to a Shorelight advisor to explore your options, such as transferring to another school or continuing your studies. You can also refer to the Shorelight F-1 Extension Guide to review your options.

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