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About the F-1 Student Visa

Generally, it is necessary to obtain a student visa for all applicants who take a program of more than 18 hours a week in an approved school. A student visa is admitted from 6 months to 5 years according to the period of study abroad.

Since the U.S. Embassy has authority to admit students for this period of time, educational institutions that provide an I-20 cannot predict the length of the permitted period.
When a student visa is issued, you are permitted to enter U.S.A. from 30 days before the date of the I-20. It is legal to stay within 60 days after the last date of the I-20.
As the visa application method may be changed, including application fees, you must be aware of updates in the U. S. Embassy’s website.

Visa waiver program

When the period is within 90 days, it is not necessary to apply for a visa. A citizen of the qualifying countries may be able to enter the U.S.A. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. In this event, a person who enters the U.S.A must obtain authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) as of January 2009.
Click here to view the procedure.

The conditions under which you can apply for a student visa to the U. S. Embassy

You have acquired an I-20 from the academic institution and have been admitted as a regular student.
Click here to see the procedure for obtaining an I-20.
Click here to see the difference between a student visa and an I-20.

After completing the registration process, the school will issue the I-20.
Each applicant will have a SEVIS ID located on his/her I-20.
The SEVIS ID makes it possible to track all of the student’s records: a) the name of the school into which he or she entered; b) the school to which he or she transferred during or after the program; c) the date of entrance into or departure from the U.S.A.

The conditions under which you can apply for a student visa to the U.S Embassy

  • You have never engaged in any illegal activity - including employment - during the period of the student visa.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover school tuition and living expenses.
    This must be demonstrated by your bank balance. In the event that you are supported by another person, a statement of your support person’s bank balance is required.
    Your passport is stamped with a student visa by the U. S. Embassy.

It takes one or two weeks for your passport to be returned from the U. S. Embassy. Then it is highly recommended that you apply for a visa with enough time to spare.

The difference between the I-20 and the Student Visa

An I-20 is essential to apply for a visa, not the F-1 student visa itself.
The I-20 leads to an entrance admission provided by educational institutions, granted by the U. S. government. It is filled in with the subject of study and the duration of the course.
An I-20 is the precondition to apply for a student visa to the U. S. Embassy.
The duration of an I-20 does not necessarily correspond with the duration of a student visa.

A person may say, "My I-20 has expired, but my student visa’s period is still legal." In the event that a I-20’s duration is expired and more than 60 days have passed, a continued stay is illegal even if the F-1 student visa is still legal.

∗60 days after the final day of a I-20 is referred to as a grace period. During this period, a student must make a choice of leaving the U.S.A or transferring to another school.
With New York English Academy, if you want to extend the length of your program, you must apply for and extend the I-20 duration before the completion of the program in your school.

On the other hand, as far as the period of the I-20 is kept valid, it is legal to stay even if the period of the F-1 student visa has expired. In the event of the departure from the U.S.A after the student visa is expired, a new visa is required to reenter the U.S.A.

A student studying abroad with an F-1 visa has to check the validity of his/her I-20 more than that of a student visa.

You have to hand your I-20 form over to the immigration officer.

The mistake of keeping the I-20 in one’s suitcase upon entering the U.S.A sometimes occurs. The I-20 has to be handed over with a visa to the immigration officer as part of the entry procedure. You must never fail to have your I-20 on your person when going abroad.