F1 visa

F1 visa

The F1 student visa allows qualified foreign students to study in the USA on F1 status. The F1 visa category is available for higher education, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, and certain other academic or language training programs. The F1 visa is to engage in a full course of study. F1 students are admitted for duration of status to work toward completing their courses of study. An F1 visa may be extended under certain circumstances to continue studying in the USA. Certain F1 students may be eligible for limited on-campus employment. Certain F1 students may be eligible for limited employment through F1 curricular practical training or F1 optional practical training. An F1 student must follow the F1 visa rules to stay in F1 status while studying in the USA.

Suspension of Certain Regulatory Requirements for Qualifying F1 Students from Nepal

On December 27, 2016, the DHS extended the suspension of certain regulatory requirements for qualifying Nepalese students who were experiencing “severe economic hardship” as a direct result of the earthquake that occurred in Nepal on April 25, 2015. In this article, we will examine who is eligible to apply for benefits under the extension and what the extension means for qualifying F1 students from Nepal.

USCIS FAQ on Change of Status from B Visitor to F1/M1 Student

On April 5, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a document titled “Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.” The document, posted in question and answer format, addresses several questions of interest to B1 and B2 visitors who want to study in the United States. In this article, we will examine the questions and answers provided by the USCIS.

DHS Proposes New Rule to Extend STEM OPT Program

In response to a District Court decision court decision invalidating the STEM OPT program, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule proposal on October 19, 2015. In addition to seeking to maintain the STEM OPT program in compliance with the court ruling, the new rule would make several key changes to the STEM OPT program. We will review the rule proposal and what it means going forward in this article.

DHS List of STEM-Designated Programs

In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its most recent list of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-designated degree program list. This article includes the list of STEM-designated degree programs and basic requirements for STEM optional practical training extensions.

Overview of 24-Month STEM OPT Extensions

On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its new final rule regarding STEM OPT extensions for F1 students. The new rule also makes alterations to OPT in general and the H1B “cap-gap” protection. The final rule is effective on May 10, 2016. In this article, we will examine the new rules for 24-month STEM OPT extensions as well as the rules for students who are currently in the midst of STEM OPT extensions under the previous regulatory scheme.

Overview of Optional Practical Training

Certain F1 students are eligible to engage in either pre-completion or post-completion optional practical training. In this article, we will use the ICE's SEVP Policy Guidance along with regulations to explore issues relating to pre- and post-completion OPT as well as certain issues regarding STEM OPT extensions.

Change of Status from B Visitor to F1/M1 Student

Under section 248 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and regulations in 8 C.F.R. 248.1, it is permissible under certain circumstances to change from B1 or B2 nonimmigrant visitor status to F1 or M1 student status. However, the nonimmigrant visitor who is seeking change of status must be maintaining his or her visitor status and be otherwise eligible for change of status and must satisfy the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that he or she did not obtain a B1 or B2 visitor visa in order to circumvent the normal application process for an F1 or M1 student visa. In this article, we will examine the rules and procedures for seeking a change of status from B1 or B2 visitor to F1 or M1 student. Please note that an alien who enters under the Visa Waiver Program or as a nonimmigrant visitor otherwise without a visa will not be eligible to change status.

Reinstatement of F1 Status

In order to maintain F1 student status, an F1 student must follow all of the rules and regulations associated with F1 status. An F1 student who violates the rules of his or her status will be considered to be out-of-status. An F1 student who is out of status may be eligible, depending on the type of status violation and the specific set of circumstances of the situation, to apply for reinstatement of F1 status without departing the United States. This article will explain the rules and regulations for applying for reinstatement of F1 status.

Maintaining F-1 Student Visa Status

While on F-1 status, students are required to follow certain rules and regulations in order to maintain their F-1 status. Failure to properly maintain F-1 status can result in the student’s removal from the United States, inability to later seek an adjustment from F-1 status, and inadmissibility to the United States. Students have sixty days to leave the country after their F-1 status lapses.

Applying for F-1 and F-2 Student Visas

We discuss the F1 visa application process and establishing nonimmigrant intent for engaging in a full course of study.