Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

F-1 Student Visa

A basic overview of the visa is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


The F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for international students qualified to attend a full course of study at United States colleges, universities, conservatories, high schools (strictly regulated) and institutions with language-training programs.


For a foreign student to be eligible for an F-1 visa, the following must be demonstrated.

  • Successful completion of a course of study normally required for enrollment.
  • Acceptance for a full course of study by an educational institution approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The institution must send the applicant a USCIS Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status for Academic and Language Students
  • The student is sufficiently proficient in English for the intended course of study or the school of planned attendance has made special arrangements to teach the applicant the English language or conduct the course in the native language. Students intending to travel to the U.S. for exclusive participation in an English-language training program may be exempt from this requirement.
  • Sufficient funds to cover the first year of study in addition to access to sufficient funds for coverage of subsequent years.
  • A permanent residence in the student's home country which he or she does not intend to abandon.
  • Intention to depart the U.S. upon the course of study's completion, which may be demonstrated through presenting evidence of economic, social and/or family ties in the student's home country sufficient to induce his or her exit.
  • The proposed education in the U.S. would be useful in the student's homeland and therefore persuade him or her to depart the U.S. upon the completion of studies.


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