5 Facts for International Students on F1 Visas in the U.S.

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:

International Student Visa

What are the requirements for F1 student visas?

  • You must be attending an academic institution or a language-training program;
  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student;
  • The school must be approved by the USICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to accept foreign students;
  • You must show sufficient financial support to complete the study;
  • You must prove that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residency.

Can I travel outside the US?

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.

Can I transfer to a different school?

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.

International Students

Can I work in the U.S.?

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.

How long can I stay in the U.S. with a F1 visa?

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. For more information on renewing your F1 student visa, follow this link.

If you have any further questions on your student visa, paying your student tuition fees from your home country, please ask us in the comments below!


11 Responses to 5 Facts for International Students on F1 Visas in the U.S.

  1. I’m really impressed with your article, such great information you mentioned here, thanks for your sharing

  2. JY says:

    So now I have a valid F1 student visa and I wanna visit a friend in the States over the summer. Can I enter the US with my student visa although I’m not coming back for school, or do I have to apply another visa specifically for tourism, like a B1/B2 visa.


  3. Very useful for students who are trying to apply for f1 visa and get the visa

    Some more questions which can be important

    How many years I can stay after my studies are over.
    Can I invite my parents when studying in USA.

  4. sateesh says:

    hi me sateesh i am planing to do 2 years MBA programme in usa how much cost of the cource and howmany years f1 visa come and what r the best universities

  5. I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: Read More! | Facts about the F1 Visa for International Students in the US

  7. The information provided regarding F1 visa is very helpful, and I personally feel that it covers all aspects of working and studying in the USA, which often perplex international students.

  8. F-1 students must maintain a full course of study students must show that they are able to support themselves during their stay.

  9. Sean Ward says:

    Good, solid information. Don’t forget to mention how important the student visa interview is and how the student needs to prepare, or they could become one of the 160,000 international students denied their visa last year. You need to know the questions and what to say, and what not to say, to ensure you provide the three critical items the consular officer must know or they will simply deny your visa. Find out what these 3 items are and get the details you need at my site, gousavisacenter, and I also just finished a book called F-1 Student Visa Package that every prospective student needs before that interview.

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