You want to come to the United States to study at a school. Perhaps you’re already living in Florida, or that’s where your school is located. Either way, to stay in the U.S. for an extended period of time while you study, you’ll need to get a visa. That’s where the F-1 visa comes into play.
Learn about the F-1 visa and how to get it so that you can enroll in your program and start studying your major of choice.
All About the F-1 Visa
An F-1 visa is a visa that a student will need to get if they are coming to the U.S. to study at a university, college, or primary or secondary school. The student needs to be studying for a degree or diploma, and their program must be approved by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). An F-1 visa is the most common type of visa that international students pursue.
You will stay in the U.S. for the duration of your program. So if you’re getting a two-year degree, you’d stay for two years, and if you’re getting a four-year degree, your F-1 visa would need to be valid for four years.
Once you graduate from your program, you’ll need to go back to your home country within 60 days, unless you become qualified to work in the U.S. You might be able to apply for the Optional Practical Training (OPT), which would allow you to work for up to a year in a job that is related to your diploma or degree. STEM graduates can apply for two additional years after those 12 months are up.
Applying for the F-1 Visa
You’ll first need to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the U.S. and get accepted to a program of study. Once your enrollment is accepted, you’ll be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and need to pay the enrollment fee. Your school will give you a Form I-20 to fill out. Once you get the form and register with SEVIS, you’ll have to go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country and then apply for your F-1 visa. Bring the I-20 form with you. When you go to the consulate, if you are between the ages of 14-79, you’ll be interviewed as well.
If your spouse and/or children are coming to the U.S. with you, they will need to enroll in SEVIS and fill out Form I-20s as well and apply for a visa. They will not have to pay the SEVIS fee, though.
To apply for the visa, you’ll need to fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160, and upload a photo.
If you’re confused about any part of this process, you can hire a Florida immigration attorney to help you. They’ll make sure that you are filling out everything properly so that there aren’t any issues, and you’ll be able to freely study – and possibly work – in the U.S. for the next few years. Get in touch with an experienced immigration attorney today.
Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney
Do you have questions about obtaining an F-1 visa in Florida.? Then contact Florida Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to helping you.