The F visa for academic students
Qualifications for the F visa: To be eligible for an F-1 student visa, a foreign national must meet the following criteria:
- S/he has a permanent foreign residence and does not intend to abandon it;
- S/he has applied to, been accepted by and enrolled full-time in an academic or language training program at a DHS-approved educational institution in the U.S.
- S/he has obtained a SEVIS I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) form and paid the SEVIS fee;
- S/he is proficient in English or enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency; and
- S/he can prove ability to support herself/himself during the entire course of study.
To search for a DHS-approved school, please visit http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search.
F-2 visas for the spouse/minor children of an F-1 student
The spouse and minor children of the F-1 student may join the student in the U.S. by obtaining F-2 visas. The spouse of the F-1 student may not accept employment or attend school, unless the studies are recreational in nature. Children in F-2 status are eligible to attend public or private schools in the U.S. from elementary through 12th grade.