The F1 Visa allows U.S. Citizens to petition their adult unmarried children to obtain a visa to immigrate to the U.S. While there is a limit to the number of visas issued under this category, once the F1 Visa is approved, it allows the applicant(s)/beneficiary(s) to study, travel, and live in the U.S.

The F1 visa category is considered a family “preference immigrant category” under the first preference which means that there is a waiting period and limits to the number of visas issued each year, and you must wait until your priority date becomes current before you apply. This waiting period depends on the immigrants’ country of birth.

At Tsang & Associates, we have a long history of helping thousands of clients successfully file for the F1 Family-Based Visa and will help our clients complete the process from beginning to end.



Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard F-1 petition is $3,500, not including government fees and third-party expenses. We are happy to customize a proposal for yours during a consultation. Please see below for more information.



Step 1: Strategy Session for the F-1 Immigrant Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire F-1 Immigrant Visa. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit the F1 Visa and I-130 Application to USCIS

Our team will gather, complete, package, and ensure all the documents provided support your case to enhance your chances of getting approved.

Step 3: Await Approval of the I-130 Petition

Once the I-130 Petition is approved by USCIS, the case will be subsequently be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

Step 4: Await the priority date to apply and Submit the Required Documentation to the National Visa Center (NVC)

The F-1 visa is considered as a family-sponsored preference category visa, which means there will be a waiting period due to the limited number of visas that are expedited per year. Keep in mind that the preference category of your case should be available to apply, according to the NVC Visa Bulletin. Our team will explain to you how to monitor your case and check the availability to apply. Once the priority date becomes available, we will guide you throughout this process and ensure that the NVC has all the documentation needed to continue to process your case in a timely manner.



Checklist of Required Evidence

If you are a derivative applicant (spouse or child), you should submit the following evidence to apply for a Green Card under a family-based preference immigrant category:

Note: Certain forms, including Form I-485, have a filing fee. You must submit the correct filing fee for each form, unless you are exempt or eligible for a fee waiver. Please see USCIS’ Filing Fees and Fee Schedule for more information. 

Filing Fee

The updated filing fee for F1 visas can be found here.

Who can apply for the F1 Visa?

In order to be eligible for a Green Card as a derivative applicant in a family-based preference category, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You properly file your Form I-485:
    • Together with the principal applicant’s Form I-485 (and the principal applicant’s Form I-485 is ultimately approved);
    • While the principal applicant’s Form I-485 is still pending with USCIS (and the principal applicant’s Form I-485 is ultimately approved);
    • After USCIS approves the principal applicant’s Form I-485, as long as:
      • The principal applicant is still a lawful permanent resident, and
      • You were the principal applicant’s spouse or child at the time USCIS approved his or her Form I-485; or
    • After the principal applicant obtained an immigrant visa and was admitted into the United States as a lawful permanent resident, as long as:
      • The principal applicant is still a lawful permanent resident, and
      • You were the principal applicant’s spouse or child at the time he or she was admitted into the United States.
  • You are currently the principal applicant’s spouse or child;
  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application. (For information on visa availability, see Visa Availability and Priority DatesAdjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Department of State website to view the Visa Bulletin.)
  • None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
  • You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.



    Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-130 petition.


    Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-130 petition.


    Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.


    Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS


    Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.


    USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.


    USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.


    USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.


    ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.



    How long is the F1 visa application process?

    The processing time for an F1 visa petition and application can take a long time due to the annual cap on the number of visas issued.

    The typical wait time for relatives within this category is eight years. For citizens of the Philippines and Mexico, the wait time is more than 15 years.

    What is the application cap for F1 visas?

    Currently, only 23,400 visas are issued for this preference category.

    The excess number of petitions are rolled over to subsequent years in chronological order until their priority dates become current. The U.S. Department of State publishes the cut-off dates for priority dates each month in the visa bulletin.

    What happens if a child gets married while waiting for a visa number to become available?

    He/she will drop to the Family Third Preference visa category, where the wait time tends to be even longer.



    Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.