F1 Visa Guidelines and Rules

Posted by on in Study Abroad

Are you a student looking to travel to the US for studies? If so, then the F1 visa is the visa that you need to think about. The F1 Visa is for foreign students attending a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or a language-training program in the United States. However, there are some guidelines and rules that you should to follow before you travel to the US or apply for your F1 visa.

When To Apply for an F1 Visa

You should apply for your visa as soon as possible. It is not that uncommon for the visa process to take several months, so the sooner you can get started the better. The US Embassy or Consulate that you will be working with can issue you your visa 120 days or less before your registration date for school. When making your travel arrangements you need to keep in mind that the Department of Homeland Security requires all beginning students to enter the US 30 days or less before classes actually start. If you plan on entering the US before that 30-day mark, then you should apply for a visitor visa.

Qualifying for an F1 Visa

Before you meet with a consular officer at the Embassy or Consulate, you should determine for yourself if you qualify for an F1 Visa. Here are the qualifications the consular officer will be looking for:

  • Acceptance to a school
  • Sufficient funding to pursue the course of study
  • Preparation for studying abroad
  • Intentions of leaving the US after you complete your studies

The consular officer will review paperwork and interview you to make sure that all of this information is accurate. So, before you go in for your interview, make sure you have all of your paperwork ready to go and that it is accurate.

Required Documentation for an F1 Visa

In order to receive an interview you must fill out the proper paperwork and provide the necessary documents to the Embassy or Consulate.

  • Form I-20A-B- this is the certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant subtends status
  • Form DS-160- this is an online nonimmigrant visa electronic application
  • A valid passport
  • A picture that is 2×2
  • An MRV fee receipt that shows you have paid the visa application fee
  • The SEVIS 1-901 fee receipt

Along with those documents you should be prepared to provide: transcripts, standardized test scores, and financial evidence.

Do you have any experience with an F1 Visa? Leave your questions and stories in the comments section below!



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