The wide variety of educational facilities in the United States offer great opportunities for students wishing to further their education and training. The intellectual stimulation and social experiences of studying in the U.S. will be vital parts of a student's growth and development. Foreign national students who want to study in the U.S. usually apply for the F-1 visa. Although the J-1 and M-1 Visas (for vocational students) are sometimes used, most foreign students enter in F-1 status. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to join you in the U.S., under F-2 status. A prospective student's Form I-20A-B may be used to request an F-2 visa. If your spouse and/or dependant children are joining you later, they will need to submit Form I-20A-B, endorsed from the school you are attending. F-2 visa holders can not work while in the U.S.
You must first apply and be accepted to an INS-approved school in the U.S. If admitted, the school will issue you an INS Form I-20 A-B/ID (Certificate of Eligibility). You must submit your visa application form, Form I-20A-B and other required documents at the U.S. Consulate, Consular Office or U.S. Embassy with jurisdiction over your permanent residence.
To apply for an F-1 Visa, you must supply the following documents:
- A filled-in visa application Form OF-156. Separate applications for each person are compulsory.
- One recent photograph 1 & 1/2 inches square (37mm x 37mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering.
- A passport, valid for travel to the United States for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
- A letter of admission from the school you plan to attend.
- A signed Form I-20A-B.
- Proof that you have the economic funds to partake in study in the U.S.
- Demonstration of nonimmigrant intent.