F-1 Visa FAQs

 


Q: I am a foreign national seeking to study in the U.S. How do I find a U.S accredited college/institute?

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) approved schools in the U.S. is available at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/map/approvedschoolsmap.htm

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Q: I have been granted a student visa for a college in the U.S. Can I transfer to another college while in the U.S?

An F-1 nonimmigrant student maintaining status (i.e., enrolled in a full course of study during the school term prior to the transfer) may transfer schools. The F-1 student may remain in the United States while transferring to another school only if the student will begin classes at the new school within five (5) months of transferring, or within five (5) months of the program completion date on his or her current Form I-20, whichever is earlier.

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Q: Am I eligible to work while in the United States on a student visa?

A student may engage in periods of pre-graduation practical training or practical training upon completion of their educational programs, as long as the training is in his or her field of study. A student may also be authorized by USCIS to work off-campus during the academic period for unforeseen economic necessity or financial hardship. In addition, it bears noting that a student may be eligible to work without authorization from the USCIS in off-campus employment that is a part of a fellowship, scholarship, or assistantship grant or postdoctoral research for which the student is paid by the school.

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Q: What do I need to do if my program cannot be completed by the date on the 1-20 document?

In this situation, the visa holder must apply to the designated school official (DSO) for a program extension prior to the expiration of the program end date. The DSO must certify that the student has continually maintained status and that the delays are caused by compelling academic or medical reasons.

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Q: After I graduate am I required to leave the United States immediately?

F-1 students have an additional 60 days to prepare for departure from the United States after completion of the course of studies shown on the I-20 and any authorized practical training.

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