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F1 VISA FOR ACADEMIC STUDENTS

The F-1 Academic Student visa classification 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.  The applicant must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.  This visa was designed for international students looking to study at an American, educational institution.

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LEGAL FEE

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 case is $2,500, not including, a governmental fee and third-party extensions.  We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk through what a standard F-1 case looks like.  Please see below for more information. 

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for F-1 Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire F-1 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 F-1 Application to USCIS and Answer Potential Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

Our attorneys will craft your F-1 arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats.

Step 3: Prepare Client for Interview in the US or at the Consulate

It all comes down to this. We help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview with USCIS by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material.  Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interviews.

Step 4: Arrival is Only The Beginning

Our services do not end when you receive your F-1 Approval, and that this step is just the beginning.  To help accommodate this reality, we provide guidance over:

  • CBP – Airport Arrival
  • Dependent Visas/Work Permits
  • Reentry Permits
  • Change of Status
  • and more!
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Checklist of Required Evidence

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 – Your school will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20.  All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a student visa, and may request additional documents, such as evidence of:

  • Your academic preparation, such as:
    • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended; and
    • Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school;
  • Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
  • How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs. 

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply.

Filing Fee

The updated filing fee for F-1 Visa can be found here

Eligibility for E-1 Visa

Requirements:

  1. Applicant must be a national of a country with whom the United States has a requisite treaty or agreement;
  2. Applicant (or in the case of an employee of a treaty investor who seeks classification as an F-1, the owner of the treaty enterprise) must direct or develop the enterprise. The applicant must demonstrate that he/she controls at least 50% of the enterprise by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device, or by other means;
  3. Applicant has invested in or is actively in the process of investing in the enterprise;
  4. The investment is substantial, i.e. sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise, and big enough to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully direct and develop the enterprise;
  5. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the commercial enterprise. 

Limitations:

  1. The investment enterprise is not a marginal enterprise;
  2. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify;
  3. The applicant intends to depart the United States upon the expiration of status.
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SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the F-1 petition.

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Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the F-1 petition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the maximum total amount of time permitted in F-1 status?

Foreign students in the United States with F-1 visas must depart the United States within 60 days after the program end date listed on Form I-20, including any authorized practical training.

Can I extend my stay under F-1 Visa?

Foreign students may request an extension through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website (see the USCIS Extend Your Stay page). Additional information to maintain student status is on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement SEVP website under Maintaining Your Immigration Status While a Student or Exchange Visitor.

Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided (Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States. 

Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Can I change my status while in the U.S.?

If your plans change while in the United States (for example, you marry a U.S. citizen or receive an offer of employment), you may be able to request a change in your nonimmigrant status to another category through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

While you are in the United States, receiving a change of status from USCIS does not require you to apply for a new visa.  However, once you depart the United States you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the appropriate category for your travel.

Can I enter the U.S. more than 30 days in advance?

Students on F or M visas are not permitted to enter the United States earlier than 30 days before the start date of their program.  If you wish to enter earlier than 30 days before your start date, you must separately apply and qualify for a visitor (B) visa.  

After you are admitted to the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in visitor (B) visa status, you must separately apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status to student (For M) status prior to the start of your program.  You may not begin your course of study until the change of status is approved, and you may encounter lengthy processing times.  You may also depart the United States and re-enter on your student (F or M) visa.

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SCHEDULE A SESSION

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.

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