Learn English In America
In the USA, it is allowed to work legally with the student visa F-1, but with some restrictions. Below are the available options.
Students can work at the institution up to 20 hours a week during the study and up to 40 hours on holidays and vacations. Usually, it is administrative work: coordination of student events, work at the library, the admission office etc.
Those who study at the universities or colleges can get a job out of campus on the CPT or OPT programs (it is officially considered as an internship). Both programs provide both full and part-time employment.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training) — training during the study: the university delegates to a commercial company the right to teach some subject to the student. Then, the training report is checked at the university and gets a mark. So, the internship is a subject at the university.
OPT (Optional Practical Training) — training after graduating. It is provided after finishing the study and getting the bachelor’s degree (BA or BS), master’s degree (MA or MS) or MBA. OPT lasts one year.
Since 2016, the students with technical specialties (STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) get two more years of OPT. So, for them, the OPT program lasts 3 years.
The student visa F-1 is the most common type of visa for studying in the USA. It provides the opportunity to study at certified educational institutions: language schools, colleges, universities and private schools.
You need this visa if you are going to study in the US certified private schools, universities, colleges or language schools during a long period of time (usually over three months) or if your program makes out over 18 hours a week.
If you have a short-term educational program (less than 3 months) and it takes less than 18 hours a week, you can study with the tourist visa B1/B2. At that, the citizens of the most European Union states, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and some other countries don’t need to receive the B1/B2 visa – they can stay in the USA without a visa up to 90 days.
The entire process – from choosing the institution to getting the passport with visa – takes in the most cases from 10 days to 3 weeks. In rare cases, the U.S. consulate carries out an additional administrative processing, which usually takes about a month.
Visa fees make out $360 total.
First of all, you need to select a certified educational institution in the USA. These are language schools, colleges, universities or private schools that have SEVP certification — the right to accept foreign students. If you are looking for language courses, they can be chosen on ClassTrip. Read how to choose language courses in the USA or how to enroll at an American university.
When you will be ready with the choice of an educational institution, you need to contact it and book the course. Typically, it can be done on the website of the school or university. If you are looking for language courses, you can choose and book them on ClassTrip. After it, the school will ask to send your personal data (name, citizenship, address, contact phone number etc.).
Then, the educational institution will send you by courier service the I-20 form that you will need at the visa interview. The shipment usually takes a few business days.
The I-20 form is the main student’s document that shows where the person is studying and how long he is allowed to stay in the USA. I-20 can be renewed infinitely. Read what the I-20 form is and what it gives.
Also, ask the school to send you the letter of acceptance to the educational institution via e-mail. Print it – it will be required at the visa interview.
The rules of acceptance vary in different educational institutions:
When you will have I-20, you will have to pay two fees.
See how to pay them in the article Visa fees for the U.S. student visa F1.
See the article How to fill in the DS-160 form.
See the article How to sign up for the U.S. visa interview.
The interview is the most important part of the process of getting a visa. It requires preparation in advance. Be well prepared for the interview. See the article How to be interviewed for the visa to the USA.
Open http://ceac.state.gov/genniv. Select the country where you will get the visa and click “Start an Application”. Enter the answer to the security question. Then there are 12 steps with questions, where you have to tell in detail about yourself, your family, planned trip, and the educational institution where you are planning to study in the USA and upload a photo.
Answer the truth. Your answers influence the decision about issuing the visa. On the visa interview, the visa officer can ask to tell more detailed about your answers in DS-160. It is recommended to write down the answers for all questions beforehand and then copy and paste them into the form, in order to avoid mistakes when filling.
The form shall be filled in in English. The questions will also be written in English, but on the site you can switch on the tips with translation: find “Select Tooltip Language” in the upper right corner of the site and select the necessary language. Then hover the mouse over questions and the translation will appear in the tooltips.
When you will have answered all the questions and uploaded a photo, you will be offered to recheck the information and then to sign and submit the application (click Sign and Submit Application). After it, you will see the confirmation page of filling DS-160 with your photo, brief personal information and a bar code. Print this page (click Print Confirmation). You will need in for the visa interview.
Confirmation of filling DS-160
A part of the process of getting the U.S. student visa F1 is an interview at the consulate. When you will be prepared and get all necessary documents, sign up for the visa interview on the website https://cgifederal.secure.force.com.
Open https://cgifederal.secure.force.com and select the country, where you will have a visa interview. Click “New user?” (below). The following items can slightly vary from country to country.
Follow these steps and specify:
A part of the process of getting the student visa F-1 to the USA is the payment of two fees. The fees are non-refundable (even if visa is denied).
The ways to pay vary from country to country. To learn more, visit the official website with the instructions for getting a U.S. visa: www.ustraveldocs.com.
Select your country and go to “Nonimmigrant Visa Information” → “Payment Options”. Read how to pay the fee and get the payment number (receipt number). Save this number. Also, save the payment receipt itself or print it (if it is in the electronic form). You will need it when signing up for the visa interview.
SEVIS shall be paid online on https://fmjfee.com.
You shall have in hand the number of the application fee payment (and payment receipt) and the confirmation of SEVIS payment. Save them – you will need them later.
The interview at the consulate is the most important part of the process of getting the U.S. student visa F1. Read below, what documents are required and what questions will be asked.
At the appointed time come to the interview to the selected consulate. They will check your documents, take fingerprints and give a number in the queue (all details will be explained on the spot). When your number or name is announced, you will have to come to a window, where a visa officer is. He or she will interview you. During the interview, the officer can ask you to show some confirming documents (see below). The interview usually lasts a few minutes.
It is forbidden to bring electronic devices (including cell phones) and dangerous things to U.S. embassies and consulates. More details on www.ustraveldocs.com in the section “Nonimmigrant Visa Information” → “Security Regulations”.
According to paragraph 214(b) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, everyone who gets the American nonimmigrant visa is regarded as a potential immigrant. The main task of the visa officer is to make sure that:
Below there are questions that may be asked at the interview. Answer the truth. Your answers are checked with given by you in the DS-160 form.
The decision about issuing a visa is made purely individually. But it is considered, that the factors listed below can influence the decision of a visa officer. Though, depending on the situation, they may not play any role or even change their value.
Take any other documents that can confirm your intentions, information given in DS-160 and can influence the decision about issuing a visa. They shall be provided only at the request of a visa officer.
Stay confident and friendly. Be prepared well to the interview. Know answers to any potential question in advance. Don’t create the impression that you are going to the USA with the purpose to immigrate. At the interview, especially when getting the student visa F-1 they can start speaking English with you immediately. If you feel that language barrier can disturb your interview, say that at the moment you feel more confident when speaking your mother language and ask to use it.
At the end of the interview a visa officer will tell you, if your visa is approved or not. If it is approved, the consulate reserves your passport to paste in the visa. After that, usually in 1-3 days, you will get your passport in the way specified, when signing in for the interview.
If the visa is denied, the passport is returned immediately, and usually the reason for the denial is explained. In case of failure, you can apply again. Learn more on www.ustraveldocs.com in the section “FAQ” → “Visa Refusals”.
In rare cases, the consulate carries out additional administrative processing. Most of all, it is completed within one month. According to the reviews, usually the consulate checks people, who have specific knowledge in science and technologies. See more on www.ustraveldocs.com in the section “Applying for a nonimmigrant visa” → “Application Pending Further Action”.
The student visa F-1 is the most common type of visa for studying in the USA. With it, you can take language courses, study at colleges, universities and private high schools.
Student visa F-1 to the USA pasted in into the passport. Source: infinitevisaph.blogspot.com
At the certified ones. These are language schools, colleges, universities or private schools in the USA that have the SEVP certification — the right to accept foreign students. All language courses on ClassTrip have this certification.
The visa can be issued for the period from 1 to 5 years (depending on the education program and applicant’s country). But you may stay legally in the USA for an unlimited period of time while you are studying at a certified educational institution even if the visa has expired. The period, during which you can stay legally in the USA, is given in your I-20 form (see below). If your visa has expired and you are temporarily leaving the USA, then you will have to go through the process of getting a new visa to enter the U.S. again.
The I-20 form (read “ai-twenty”)is the main document of the student that shows where the person is studying and for how long he or she can stay in the USA. The institution sends the I-20 form to the future student before getting the student visa F-1. This form is the ground for getting the student visa. If you decided to extend your study or are going to change the educational institution, you get a new I-20 with the extended period of being in the USA depending on the selected program.
An example of the I-20 form. Source: studyinthestates.dhs.gov
Yes, it is, but with some restrictions. See our article Work in the USA with the student visa F-1.
Yes. Your husband or wife and children under 21 years that are not married can get the F2 visas and stay with you on the U.S. territory.
Yes. For this, you need to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more on their website.
It is necessary to attend classes. If the attendance is less than 80%, the visa may be cancelled.
Read the article How to get the U.S. student visa F-1.