Below you will find a list of frequently asked question about the United State F-1 Visa Program. These Questions have been designed to answer some of the general inquiries. For details and consultations specific to your current status, please contact fill out our evaluation form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: HOW EARLY SHOULD I APPLY FOR MY STUDENT VISA?
A: Students are encouraged to apply for a student visa as soon as they have their I-20. To ensure they get an early and timely date they may apply at any time. However, a student visa may be issued no more than 120 days prior to the start date mentioned on I-20.
Q: How early should I apply for my Student (F-1 or M-1) Visa?
A: You are encouraged to apply early for your Student non-immigrant visa. A student visa may be issued no more than 120 days prior to the start date mentioned on your I-20.
Q: I have received my Student visa, when should I travel?
A: Students (F-1 or M-1) and Exchange Visitors (J-1) may travel within 30 days of the commencement of the course of study stated on your I-20/DS-2019, respectively regardless of how early your visa was issued.
Q: I am a foreign student currently studying in the U.S. I want to travel outside the U.S., do I need any special documents to reenter the United States?
A: Be sure that your visa is MULTIPLE ENTRY. If so, returning students may reenter the U.S. on their valid F-1 visa as long as they have a valid I-20 with a SEVIS number even if the SEVIS number does not match the number on their visa. The immigration officers at the port of entry will check their system to make sure that the I-20 is valid. The only reason a student should need a new visa is if they’re old visa has expired.
Q: My dependents would like to visit me for a short term. What kind of visa do they need to apply?
A: They can apply for a tourist visa.
Q: What grades do I need to have for admission?
A: Academic diversity in the United States means that the requirements for admission are significantly different. Some institutions act extremely selectively whereas others accept most of the applicants.
To pass a selective graduate or undergraduate educational program, the average score of your high school degree should be B. That is, you should be among the top twenty (20) percent of the students of your class. In universities with more strict criteria, the admission condition requires you to be among the top ten (10) percent of students of the class.
Some institutions have simple terms and even offer “Free Registration” programs in which the completion of the secondary education or other perquisites is the only requirement of admission. (Additional conditions may apply to international students. For example, English proficiency is one of the prerequisites for any college education.) The free registration programs could also be as challenging as the training programs of higher education institutions. The students that apply for master degree programs are generally evaluated based on the final sixty units of their undergraduate degree. The admission requirements vary from one group to another, with the admission process being more selective than the undergraduate level.
Q: What is SEVIS?
A: SEVIS is the Homeland Security Database. Homeland Security is now requiring F-1 students to pay a $200 SEVIS fee before the student can apply for the visa. Students will need to show the proof of payment before they can go to the visa interview.
Q: How do I maintain my visa?
A: After you are approved for your F1 visa, you are able to enter the United States as an international student. However, after you arrive, you will need to stay aware of your obligations as an F1 visa holder. If you do not maintain your valid F-1 visa status, you will not be allowed to return to re-enter the US if you leave and you will not be eligible for practical training (OPT or CPT) or on-campus employment.