F1 Visa

F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic program or English Language Program at a US college or university. F-1 students must maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. They can remain in the US up to 60 days beyond the length of time it takes to complete their academic program, unless they have applied and been approved to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT Program.

F1 Visa Qualifications

  • Foreign Residence
  • F-1 applicants must have a foreign residence and must intend to return there upon the completion of their studies.

  • Sponsoring Institution
  • While on your F-1 visa, you may only study at the academic institution through which the visa was granted.

  • Financial Support
  • Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial support — the Study USA Financing Guidecan help you prepare for this aspect of your time abroad.

  • Ties to Home Country
  • All applicants must demonstrate that they have strong ties to their home country.

Strong ties consist of, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A job offer letter upon completion of studies

  • Assets (i.e., house, land, vehicle, etc.)

  • Bank accounts

  • Family

F-1 Visa Denials

If your F1 visa application is denied, it is based on US immigration law. If you are denied, the reason and section of law you are denied under will be given to you in your paperwork. Some applications are denied because the applicant failed to provide necessary information or supporting documentation as required. Sometimes, however, you can be found ineligible for other reasons.

Of course, if you do not meet the F-1 Visa Qualifications as stated above, you can expect to be found ineligible. For example, if you do not sufficiently demonstrate that the strong ties to your home country will influence you to return home after your stay in the US, you will be denied under INA section 214(b), Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent.

Other common reasons for denial include Fraud or Misrepresentation, Unlawful Presence in the United States, Health-related grounds, Criminal-related grounds, or Security-related grounds. To learn more about visa denials and to see if you are eligible for a waiver or to reapply, the US Department of State website is a great resource.