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Student Visas - Long Live Education

The United States has always been an attractive country to live and study in. This is not just because of its strong economy and plentiful opportunities but also because of its high academic standards. Many students dream of studying in the United States for the renowned universities it houses, quality of life, and economic stability.

If you are a student wishing to study in the US, the F-1 visa is the most commonly requested. This visa provides access to American universities, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the rich educational experience that the US has to offer. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to the F-1 Student Visa. We cover everything from eligibility to application procedures, as well as the role of a Student Visa Lawyer in Miami.

F-1 Student Visa: Summary

The F-1 student visa is commonly issued to individuals pursuing education in the United States. This visa allows international students to enter and stay in the country while attending an approved educational institution. The visa is valid for 30 days from the start of classes and expires upon completion of the study program.

Our team of top-rated student visa lawyers in Miami are your trusted guides through the F-1 visa process. With their expertise, you can navigate the complex paperwork and await your visa approval with confidence.

While F-1 visa holders are generally not allowed to work, the visa does provide some limited work authorizations. This means you can take on-campus jobs related to your field of study, gaining valuable work experience while you learn. You can also participate in optional practical training programs, such as internships or volunteer work, to further enhance your skills. Additionally, if you have a valid F-1 visa, you can bring your dependents under the F-2 category to accompany you during your stay in the U.S. However, it’s important to note that individuals under the F-2 category cannot seek employment or enroll in academic programs. They must also leave the country when the primary visa holder does.

Requirements to Apply for an F-1 Visa

The first thing to consider is getting the right help. Our Miami Student Visa Lawyer will assist you throughout the entire visa process to ensure you obtain your F-1 visa.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Enroll in an institute, elementary school, secondary school, college, or university in the US.
  • Demonstrate sufficient funds to cover their expenses during their stay in the United States.
  • Show strong ties to their home countries that guarantee their return once they finish their studies.

To apply for the student visa, applicants must fill out a form that requires proof of acceptance into a qualified educational institution. They also need need to give evidence of financial support demonstrating plans consistent with complete course study. Once approved, F-1 visas allow international students to remain in the United States as long as they maintain active enrollment.

Step-by-Step Process to Apply for a Student Visa

Our team at Student Visa Lawyer in Miami knows perfectly the procedure to apply for an F-1 visa. They explain to us, step by step, what it consists of:

  • The first step in applying for an F-1 student visa requires obtaining admission to an educational organization. It must be recognized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • Next, the educational organization will issue the I-20 visa sponsorship form.
  • Next, you must create an account on the SEVIS portal and pay the SEVIS fee.
  • Subsequently, you must complete the DS-160 form and pay the consular fees. This form corresponds to all US non-immigrant visas and is submitted to the US consulate of the applicant’s domicile.
  • Next, an appointment must be scheduled with the local embassy or consulate. During this session, several documents are required, such as evidence of financial resources and proof of ties to the country of origin. This shows that you have no intention of abandoning your studies in the United States or permanently abandoning your country.

When your application has been positively received, you will be informed verbally at the interview. Then, you have to collect the passport with the visa stamp from a courier office designated by the consulate.

Our Top-Rated Student Visa Lawyer in Miami will be able to help you with each of these steps. They will make sure there are no errors that will delay or cancel your F-1 visa.

Employment Options and Limitations for Students with F-1 Visa in the US

International students in the United States under an F-1 visa face specific regulations regarding employment opportunities. It is essential to be well-informed about the options available and their respective restrictions to ensure compliance with immigration regulations. Below is a detailed summary of this topic:

1. Campus Employment

  • During the first academic year, students with an F-1 visa are limited exclusively to jobs on the campus of their educational institution.
  • A maximum of 20 hours of work per week is allowed during active academic periods and full-time during breaks.

2. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Pre-completion: It is possible to apply for employment in the student’s field of study before graduation. However, hours used will be deducted from the total 12 months of OPT awarded.
  • Post-completion: Once they have completed their studies, students can work in their area of ​​speciality for 12 months.
  • OPT Extension for STEM: Graduates in specific fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics can request an additional 24-month extension for a total potential of 36 months of employment.

3. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • The CPT is designed to allow students to work in roles that are related to their curriculum, such as internships.
  • It is important to note that 12 months of full-time employment under CPT will make the student ineligible for OPT upon completion of their studies.

4. Off-Campus Employment due to Severe Financial Hardship

  • In extraordinary circumstances, regulations allow students to apply for employment off campus. These authorizations are evaluated and granted on a case-by-case basis by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). What are these circumstances? Our Student Visa Lawyer in Miami will be able to inform you and support you in this regard.

In Conclusion

The F-1 student visa is an excellent option for those looking to obtain a quality education in the United States. To ensure a smooth transition to your new academic life in the United States, it is essential to follow the steps of the application process accurately and carefully. If you are considering coming to the US to study, we hope you found this guide helpful.

And remember that One People Law offers legal advice on all types of immigration visas, including the F-1. Get in touch with us and take your first steps in charting your professional future by studying in the USA.

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