F-1 ACADEMIC STUDENT
The F-1 Academic Student visa is appropriate for foreign nationals qualified to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories, or academic high schools in the U.S. Our attorneys here at Tsang & Associates will help you complete all of the forms necessary to obtain the F-1 Academic Student visa. Additionally, we will provide you with advice as to maintaining, changing, or extending your student visa. Our attorneys will assess your circumstances and assist you in meeting the requirements. Consultations are free and we look forward to your visit.
Our attorney will prepare a complete F-1 Visa application, in addition to providing you:
- Mock Interview Training
- Attorney Representation
- Supporting Document Preparation
- Interview Preparation
In short, we provide a start to finish service. Your case is safe with us until the case is complete.
Legal Fee $1,500
*Legal Fees vary based on complexity of each case, and the above quoted price represents the amount we charge for a typical case.
- Must be a bona fide student;
- Proof of acceptance into an academic program and ability to finance your education;
- Documentation evidencing nonimmigrant intent, such as a residence abroad, ties to your home country like a job, ownership of a property, etc.;
- Completed Form I-20 from the school you attend;
- Enrollment in a school approved for the attendance of foreign students;
- Proficiency in English or enrolled in English language courses leading to proficiency;
- Upon initial admission, you must intend to attend the school specified on the F-1 visa.
- Students who fail to maintain full-time course enrollment may lose their lawful immigration status and may not be able to continue their education in the U.S.;
- Optional practice training employment is automatically terminated when the student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level;
- Off-campus work authorization cleared for only cases of severe economic hardship;
- Applicants are required to report any change of name or address, or interruption of such employment to the Designated School Official (DSO).
- F-1 students are considered in status for the entire length of time (duration of status) during which he/she is enrolled as a full-time student in an educational program, plus any authorized period of practical training (employment) and an additional sixty (60) days to prepare for departure;
- Entry as a full-time academic or language student;
- Ability to legally work part-time on-campus, and off-campus if necessary;
- Right to take up employment as a part of optional practical training;
- Ability to travel in and out of the U.S. or stay in the U.S. until completion of studies;
- Ability to bring spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to live together in U.S.
Employment Opportunities for F-1 Visa Students:
- On-campus employment - Can begin as soon as admitted as F-1 Visa Student;
- Off-campus work authorization - Severe economic hardship only;
- OPT- Optional Practical Training.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) (12 months, plus two months grace period) is a temporary employment authorization that gives in status F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off-campus. However, students enrolled in English language training programs are not eligible for practical training after completion of studies. It is recommended to start the application for OPT three months before scheduled graduation date, but not earlier. Applicants can also apply for OPT 60 days after graduation date, but please consult with campus foreign student adviser for updated information.
Change into H-1B status:
- Many F-1 students ask their employers to file an H-1B petition. This allows F-1 students to work in the U.S. after the completion of their educational program;
- The first step for an F-1 holder is to find an employer that is willing to file an H-1B petition on his/her behalf. Thereafter, if the H-1B petition is approved, the alien is granted an H-1B status. As a general rule, an individual may remain in the U.S. in H-1B status for a maximum total duration of six years.
F-2 (Spouse and Children of F-1):
F-2 visa/status is issued/granted to the F-1 holder's spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age. Holders of F-2 are considered to be the dependents of F-1 holders. F-2 holders may be entitled to enter and remain in the United States for the duration of the F-1 holder's authorized duration of stay. Their duration of valid stay is the same as that of the F-1 holder. The F-2 spouse and minor children of an F-1 student shall each be issued an individual SEVIS Form I-20.
As an F-2 spouse, you may not engage in full time study and an F-2 child may only engage in full time elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade) study. F-2 spouses or children may engage in study that is vocational or recreational in nature. F-2 holders may not take up paid employment while in the U.S.
In order to provide you with the best and most accurate consultation, we recommend that you bring as many of the following information/documents as you can to ensure a productive meeting.
- Resume of the applicant
- Evidence that the applicant will not resort to employment in order to finance his or her education in the US (such as personal funds of the applicant, evidence of financial aid given or disbursed by the applicant's home government)
- Evidence of acquiring ability and educational background, such as a diploma, degree certificate
- Evidence of nonimmigrant intent, such as family relationships, ID card of the applicant and his or her parents, work certificate, and family photos. (It is generally preferable that the applicant demonstrate that he or she does not have close family currently in the US)
- Evidence of Finances (including real estate ownership, driving license, bank deposit, family business certificate, stock, and parent's income statement)
- Career potential, (including better career opportunity for the applicant in his or her home country, letters from employers or labor markets experts, applicant's affidavit, letter from the employer, and letter from the prospective employer)
- Community ties to any organization he or she belongs to, including religious organizations or social groups.