Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1037
F-1 Student VisaRegion: Ontario Answer # 1037
F-1 visas are for anyone seeking to come to the USA to study at a university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or language learning programs.
The first step is for a potential student to apply at the school of their choice and be accepted into a program. All programs must be full-time, and with the exception of private elementary school, be a degree-granting program. Once accepted into a school, the school will issue an I-20, which serves as proof that the student was accepted into a specific school for a set duration to complete studies in a designated area. While Canadians do not need to visit a US Consulate for a visa stamp in their passport, they are still required to pay all SEVIS fees online, with the school will provide instructions and applicable school codes to register.
An F-1 is valid for the length of a program. For example, if a student is attending a four-year undergraduate program, the I-20 would be issued to start at the beginning of the program and have an end date when graduation is expected to happen. The I-20 is specific to the school and the student’s chosen program. Any changes to the school or program require a new I-20. If the student opts for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) after a full-time year, that would be grounds for a new I-20. Same if the student opts for Occupational Practical Training (OPT) after graduation. Any travel requires the school’s authorization prior to travel. The F-1 can be extended based on the school’s policy and the student’s academic status and needs.
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