If you’re coming to study English in the United States, one of the things you’ll need to learn about is the F-1 student visa. This government-issued document shows that you have permission to study in the U.S. There are a number of important facts international students should know about the F-1 student visa.
1) There are specific requirements.
Students who apply must be coming to the U.S. to attend an academic institution or a language-training program. The organization or program must be approved by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as U.S.I.C.E. Students must be enrolled for full-time study and must demonstrate their ability to cover all costs of the program. Furthermore, they may be asked to demonstrate that they have no intention of permanently leaving their foreign residency or staying in the U.S. after their visa expires.
2) It does not expire when your passport expires.
The F-1 student visa has its own expiration date that is completely separate from your passport. When entering the U.S., your passport will need to have an expiration date of at least six months after your planned departure from the country. However, if you travel abroad and your passport expires, your immigration status may still be valid. In this case, you will need to enter the U.S. with the expired passport and attached visa, plus your new passport. Note that students may leave the U.S. for up to five months and their immigration status will remain valid.
3) There are strict work restrictions.
Foreign students must follow strict work guidelines while studying in the U.S. They are only allowed to work on campus during the first year, and then must find work that is considered “practical training” during additional years of study. Get personal advice on the matter before seeking work in the U.S. if you are a student here.