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F-1 Student Visa


If you wish to attend a university or other academic institution in the United States, including primary and secondary school, or a language training program, you will require an F-1 visa.

Eligible institutions:

  • University or College;
  • High School;
  • Private Elementary School;
  • Seminary;
  • Conservatory; or
  • Other Academic Institutions, to include a Language Training Program.

SEVP Approved Schools

Before you can apply at a for an F-1 visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by an SEVP approved school. Visit either of the websites below to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and search for certified schools:

SEVIS Fees and I-20 

When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Form I-20 to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. Please note: If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the U.S. while you study, they must obtain individual Form I-20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee.

Length of Visa and Spousal/Dependent Visas

The holder of a student F-1 visa may enter the United States up to 30 days before the designated registration date on the I-20A. They may remain in the United States for up to 60 days following the completion of the course. The duration of status of an F-1 student in a publicly funded secondary school cannot exceed an aggregate of 12 months schooling.

Spouses and dependents

May qualify for an F-2 visa if evidence of financial resources sufficient to support his/her spouse and/or children can be shown. An accompanying spouse cannot accept employment or engage in study without obtaining an appropriate work or student visa, but accompanying children are entitled to attend primary and secondary school in the U.S.

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