A student visa, also known as the F-1 visa, is one which is granted to students who are entering the United States to study. This type of visa allows the applicant to live, study and work in the United States if attending a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP). F-1 students need to maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. This status permits part-time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week). Additionally, students can work on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for up to one year after completion of their academic program.

There is no limit on the number of F-1 student visas issued every year. The intended student may apply at any time of the year. In order to qualify for a student visa, there are specific requirements that must be met.


  • The selected program must be an accredited academic educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program approved by the Attorney General;
  • The student’s school must be accepted by the SEVP;
  • The student must demonstrate nonimmigrant intent, and show evidence of strong ties to their home country and of financial independence during the course of the study;
  • The student must demonstrate ability and the credentials to qualify for the intended full course of study;
  • The student must be able to demonstrate a proficiency in the English language or be enrolled in courses to reach that proficiency;
  • The student must not release their acquired residence abroad.


One of the biggest limitations to an F-1 student visa is that it does not have “dual intent” – meaning that you may not have both the intent to be a student and intend to immigrate. Applying for a green card under F-1 status may not only result in your green card getting denied, but it will also be considered a violation of status and may result in a temporary bar from re-entry into the United States.

However, it is still possible to obtain a green card if you entered the U.S. under an F-1 student visa. The first thing you would need to do is change status to a different nonimmigrant visa that does have dual intent, which is permitted under F-1 status. Consulting an immigration attorney who has extensive experience with F-1 visas is important as they can best guide you on the requirements and restrictions.

With an F-1 student visa, you may legally work part-time during the school year (on-campus), and full-time the summer breaks (off-campus, subject to application requirements). And after graduation, there is the option to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

With an F-1 visa, the holder’s spouse and unmarried, minor children (under the age of 21) are eligible to obtain an F-2 status. Though a spouse will not be able to pursue a full-time course of study, minor children are eligible to enroll in full-time studies in elementary or secondary schools.


The Law Office of 360 Immigration Law Group provides assistance in obtaining an F-1 student visa, whether that involves preparing a change of status application in the U.S or guiding you through the consular process abroad. With our legal team’s extensive experience, we assist you in devising a strategy and course of action to increase the chance of obtaining the F-1. Our immigration lawyer offers individualized attention in order to provide the utmost, efficient service.


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