5 Facts International Students Should Know about USA Study (F1) Visa


Getting an F1 Visa is a challenging task as the processing of the application status requires time. However, this seems to be the necessary step for international students willing to study and settle in the United States.

It may not be an easy task but an essential one for students to get into a multi-stage adventure in their studious life. To succeed in the process will depend upon knowing certain facts well beforehand so that there seem no complications. An F1 Visa for international students is a getaway pass for them to enter or attend universities, academic institutions, schools, or any English Language Programs in the US.

F1 Student Visa Requirements

Below are some of the essential requirements of an F1 student visa in the USA.

  • For getting an F1 student visa an applicant needs or must get enrolled as a full-time student.
  • He or she needs to attend a college, high school, university, academic institution or an English Language Training Program.
  • The university/college to which an applicant has applied for must have approval from USICE( US Immigration and Customs For Enforcement) for accepting foreign students. 
  • Students should have and need to show sufficient financial support to complete their study as well as their capability to cover their living expenses.
  • Students should prove that they do not attempt to repudiate their foreign residency at any cost. 

Can Students on F1 Visa Travel Outside The US?

The answer to this question is Yes. Students can travel outside the US, but the absence should not get expanded for more than five months. Applicants must ensure that they have their official I-20 signed by the designated college/school/university official before travelling out of the US. Moreover, if the applicant’s original F1 Visa has expired, then they must have a new one with them.

Can an F-1 student transfer to a different university/college/school?

Yes. For transferring to a different college/ university/school, first students need to inform their present /college/school/university. They also need to transfer their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) record which is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by working with the Designated School Official (DSO). Besides, students will have to get a new I-20 from the new college/university/school, they like to transfer and then within fifteen days of transfer, he or she must submit the completed I-20, to the new DSO.

Can an F-1 student work in the U.S.?

Students coming on the F-1 visa should understand that their major objective is to study and settle in the US. However, following some strict work restrictions, they are allowed to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week during the semester program. Also, they are eligible to work full time which is more than 20 hours a week during vacations or study break. But a student is strictly not authorized to work on campus, once he/she graduates. Also, before searching out for employment, F1 students need to take prior advice of the Foreign Student Advisor or their DSO.

How long can a student stay in the U.S. with an F-1 visa?

When a student enters the US, he/she will get an I-94 card from the immigration officer. I-94 reflects an authorized stay in the US and the student’s non-immigrant status. Also, this states the duration of your status (D/S) on the I-94 card of a student international F-1 visa, that means a student may remain in the US, as long as he/she is enrolled in his/her academic program in the university. Once the program ends, a student has 60 days to depart from the US.