Are you thinking of going to study abroad? Good choice! It will provide you with endless opportunities, not only to improve your professional future, but also to improve as a person. If you plan to study in the United States, you will need a visa to do so. But which? The F1 Visa. 

Do not worry if you have never heard of it, in this post we are going to tell you everything you need to know about it.

What is the F1 visa?

The F1 visa was designed to meet the needs of people who wanted to study in the United States. In other words, anyone who proves that they attend a training course at least 18 hours a week.

It doesn’t have to be a university, it can be anything from a language school to an institute or specialized courses. There is only one exception that does not collect this type of visa: the adult education school.

Can you work with the F1 visa?

During the first year, it is strictly forbidden to work if it is not with something related to the educational institution where you study. 

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Even so, they must be jobs to integrate you into the campus or lifestyle, such as teaching. In any case, you will not have to obtain benefits to live (economic).

How then can you work and study?

Requesting another permit. An F1 visa holder (that is, when you already have it) can apply for a permit to work outside of academic hours for up to one year. 

It is called Optional Practical Training or OPT and it will allow you to work as long as you do so in a sector related to the studies you are doing.

In this case, it is best that once you are studying at the center, ask for guidance from the student manager or person in charge of your study center.

Requirements to obtain an F1 visa

If you are interested in obtaining an F1 visa to work in the United States, you must apply at the embassy or consulate of your country. In addition, you have to meet a series of requirements:

  • Have a residence outside the United States . That is, you must have a place to return to when you finish studying.
  • You can only study at the center or institution for which the visa was granted.
  • You have to enroll full time .
  • Your level of English must be good (if not perfect)
  • You have to be able to show that you have money to live in the United States.

How to get an F1 visa?

We are not going to lie to you. Obtaining this type of visa can be a lengthy process . First of all, you need to find some kind of establishment where you sign up. 

This way you will be able to submit the first (of many) other documents: Form I-20 (a form that will allow you to register in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or SEVIS.

Next, you must complete the DS-160 form . Always be honest and do not lie when filling it out. The United States does not beat around the bush and at the slightest doubt or suspicion will reject your application.

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Then you will have to pay a fee (it can vary), and they assign you a very important 10-digit number. Store it like gold in cloth!

It’s time for the interview . For her you will need:

  • The 10-digit number that you had saved with many illusions.
  • The CGI number. (You can find it on the receipt they gave you at checkout).
  • Your passport number.

In addition, you must submit a file with the following documentation:

  • Confirmation that the DS-160 form has been accepted.
  • Receipt of payment of fees.
  • A photocopy of the confirmation of that appointment.
  • A valid passport.
  • The I-20 form.
  • Form I-901
  • SEVIS payment receipt
  • A recent 5 cm x 5 cm photo. (less than half a year).

It’s time to go back

Once the estimated time for the F1 visa is over, you should not immediately return home. If you have an F-1 you can be in the United States for up to 2 months after finishing your course (or work if you have the OPT).

In case you want to stay longer, you must re-enroll in a course (at the same school) or go to a new study center (starting the visa process again).

Studying in the United States is the dream of millions of people. But to do so, you must comply with the regulations of the country. Now you know that you must get the F1 visa for it.

Good luck and patience with the paperwork!

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