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U.S. student visa F-1

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

Student visa F-1 to the USA pasted in into the passport. Source: infinitevisaph.blogspot.com

What educational institutions can you study at?

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.

What is the validity period of the visa F-1?

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.

What is I-20?

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.

Example of the I-20 form

An example of the I-20 form. Source: studyinthestates.dhs.gov

Details and restrictions

Is it allowed to work legally in the USA with the student visa?

Yes, it is, but with some restrictions. See our article Work in the USA with the student visa F-1.

Can I come to study with my family?

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.

Can I change my visa for another one while in the US?

Yes. For this, you need to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more on their website.

Does the visa F-1 have any additional restrictions?

It is necessary to attend classes. If the attendance is less than 80%, the visa may be cancelled.

How to get the student visa?

Read the article How to get the U.S. student visa F-1.

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