F1 visas are English course visas for students and individuals who wish to come study in the United States at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language institute. Students who enroll in an English course with more than 18 hours of classes per week will need an F1 student visa. Students can study at schools that offer only English language training programs or schools that offer English language training programs as well as other programs of study. For example, if you wish to combine English studies with another discipline such as Art or a computer course, that is allowed under the F1 visa
What documents are needed?
Just like any other visa application process, the F1 visa requires you to present certain documents. You will need:
A valid passport
The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
The application fee payment receipt
A passport photo
A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F1) Student Status (Form 1-20)
You may also need other documents such as academic transcripts, diplomas, test scores, proof of your intent to depart the U.S. after your course is done, and proof of your financial stability.
What is the application process?
- The first step is to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States. You must apply and be accepted by a U.S. institution of higher education that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
- Then you must be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
- The SEVP-approved school will issue you a Form I-20.
- After you receive the Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or M) visa.
- Attend a consular visa interview where you must present the Form I-20 to the consular officer.
What are the benefits?
The first benefit is, of course, improving your English language skills and/or studying full time in a program leading to a degree or certificate. However, the F1 English course visa also gives you legal rights to apply for a driver’s license as well as work in the United States. To get a driver’s license, you must apply for one at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To get a job or an internship, you may seek approval for on-campus and off-campus employment.
The F1 visa also allows you to travel within the United States or abroad, transfer to a different school or switch academic programs, and bring your spouse and children to the United States on a separate (F2) visa.
How AEI can help
We are a premier English language training center that helps students as well as professionals to improve their English and acquire new skills to advance in their careers. We are approved to operate by the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
Our programs cater to all skill levels, from our Intensive English Program that helps students improve their English quickly to succeed in a U.S. academic setting to Vacation English, which is ideal for students who want to explore and improve their English while enjoying their vacation in the U.S. We also offer homestay accommodations so that you are fully immersed in American culture and language and other student services to help you get comfortable in a new environment. For academic learners, we offer college and high school placement.
Getting an F1 visa can be a complicated process, but we can help guide you and ensure you are on the right path. If you want to speak and write English with confidence we can help.