The F1 visa category is reserved for academic students enrolled in colleges, universities, high schools, language training programs, and other academic institutions. The first step for a prospective student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school (University/College) which is SEVP certified.
We have created a list of the most common questions from and for international students on rules and regulations regarding the F1 student visa:
Yes. You may return to the US after an absence of no more than five months. You must have a new F1 visa if your original one has expired. Have your designated school official sign your I-20 before leaving the US.
Yes. You must notify your current school and work with the designated school official (DSO) to transfer your SEVIS record. You also need to obtain a new I-20 from your new school, and give the completed I-20 to your new DSO within 15 days of transfer date.
F-1 visas are intended to enable foreign students to study in the U.S., hence, there are strict work restrictions. Students with F-1 visas are generally allowed to work on the campus of the university at which they study for up to 20 hours a week. There are also two training programs that F-1 students can get permission to work under. F1 students should always seek advice from the DSO (or foreign student advisor) before seeking employment in the United States.
For more information on employment for international students follow this link.
When you enter the US, an immigration officer at the port of entry will issue you an I-94 card that indicates your non-immigrant status (F1) and your authorized stay. It is typically “Duration of Status” or “D/S” on a student’s I-94 card, meaning that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in the school to complete your academic program. After the program ends you will have 60 days to depart the U.S.
Disclaimer: Flywire is not an immigration organization nor has affiliation with any such companies. Our primary service is processing international education payments, and this post is meant only to serve as an informational introduction to help international students understand the basics about student visas.
Last update: 3/9/2020