Who is Eligible?
An alien who has a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who wishes to come to the United States to pursue a course of study at an academic institution accredited by the USCIS, may qualify for an F-1 student visa. The alien must have a valid educational purpose for coming to the United States, and must be able to support himself or herself while in the United States without working.
The F-1 student visa applicant must have available sufficient funds and outside financial support to ensure he or she will not become a public charge or accept unauthorized employment. He or she must be proficient in English or receive training to make him or her proficient, intend to depart the United States at the conclusion of his or her studies, and be qualified to attend the particular institution. All F-1 students are given permission to be in the United States for “duration of status,” that is for the period of time needed to complete the educational program plus 60 days.
At the end of the course of study a period of work authorization may be requested for the purpose of gaining experience in the field of study, known as “practical training.” If qualified, the student may also change non-immigrant status to a temporary non-immigrant work visa or adjust status to a permanent resident visa.