Can I Get an F1 Visa as a Part-Time Student? Full Details

Have you ever wondered if you can get an F1 Visa as a part-time student? If yes this article holds answers to your question. If you haven’t however, this is an opportunity for you to find out.

This article will help you understand what it means to be a student with an F1 Visa, and all you are able to do with such visa.

It will also try to explain how long it takes to renew your F1 visa, how long you can stay in the US after your visa must have expired, and more.

Every year millions of students from all over the world apply for F1 visa to enable them study in the United states of America. While some get these visas, others don’t.

For those who eventually get into the state, they often ask if they can work with these F1 visas as part time, and for those still outside of the United States of America, they often wonder if they can get and F1 visa as part-time students.

It’s these questions and more that this article seeks to answer to help international students ookig to study in the US understand their positions.

What Is An F1 Student Visa?

Generally, there are 3 kinds of visas offered to international students in the United States namely F-visa (F1 7 F2), J Exchange Visa, and the M student visa. The J Exchange Visa is for international students who are applying to participate in an exchange program, high school, and university students inclusive. M Student Visa is for non-academic study or training in the United States

Now, to our main subject of discussion, the F1 visa.

The F1 visa is issued by the United States to international students who wish to attend an academic program or English Language Program at a US college or university. It is the most common type of student visa issued to international students.

The emphasis for offering this visa is on the accreditation status of the college or university to which the student applied. There are other requirements as we will learn later on in the post.

Can An International Student Be A Part Time Student?

No, international students cannot study part-time in the United States.

The U.S. immigration law requires that all international students on an F1 visa must maintain full-time enrollment.

Likewise, graduate students must also be full-time. In order to be recognized as full-time students, they must be registered for a minimum of 9 quarter credits.

Can I Get An F1 Visa As A Part-Time Student?

As earlier mentioned, the F visa is for academic studies and it is the most common form of international student visas in the U.S. 

To answer the question, no, you cannot be given an F1 student visa in the United States as a part-time student.

The common prerequisite is that F1 students must maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. Therefore, you cannot study part-time with an F1 student visa.

However, as an F1 visa holder, you can undertake a part-time job and on-campus employment for less than 20 hours per week.

How Long Can I Stay In the USA With An F1 Visa?

An F1 status can afford you the time to complete the education which brought you to the United States.

Regardless, the duration of Status otherwise known as D/S is found on your student’s I-94 card. It means that you can remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in the school to complete your academic program. After the program ends, you will have 60 days to depart the U.S. You may also renew the F1 visa to continue staying in the US.

Summarily, the F1 student visa offers students a maximum of 60 days beyond the length of time it takes to complete their academic program. An exception arises if they have applied and been approved to live and work for a period of time under the OPT Program.

What If I Overstay My F1 visa?

The US law states that if you overstay your visa duration by a period of 180 days or more but less than a year, you’ll be banned from reentering for three years.

Basically, overstaying your visa may jeopardise your ability to obtain a visa in future. But, F1 students who are not part-time can reew their visa before it expires.

Can I Renew my F1 visa Before it Expires?

An F1 visa can be renewed before it expires.

To renew an F1 visa, the process is exactly the same you followed while applying for the initial F1 visa application.

You can still stay in the U.S with an expired F1 visa as long as your Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status is valid.

How Long Does it take to renew an F1 visa?

The process of renewal of an F1 visa usually involves administrative processing after you’ve submitted the right documents. This time may be longer if your application needs further processing.

Administrative processing can take up to 60 days or more. Bear in mind that an application can be denied.

Can I work In The U.S. With An F1 Visa?

F-1 visas were originally intended just to enable foreign students to study in the U.S. However, you may work part-time with the F1 visa but under strict regulations.

First, students with F-1 visas are allowed to work on the campus of the university where they study for up to 20 hours a week.

Secondly, international students with the F1 visa can also under two training programs which are Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to gain experience in their field of study.

Note that F1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year.

As an F1 student, you cannot work in off-campus employment unless authorized by the Designated School Official. This is only possible if the student is under extreme hardship after the student has been in F1 status for at least one full academic year.

Any other kind of off-campus employment is considered illegal and students may be deported if caught.

Can An F1 Student Apply For A Green Card?

Yes, an F1 student can adjust his status to obtain a green card. This process of adjustment is called Adjustment of Status or “AOS” for short.

An AOS application is filed with USCIS using Form I-485. You will fill the Form I-485 with a petition, Form I-130 or Form I-140.

TO find out more about this read How To Change Your Student Visa To Green card

Where To Apply For Your F1 Visa?

Applicants for student visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence.

This will normally be your home country — the country in which you live. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.

What Are The Requirements For F1 Student Visas?

We will start with the basic requirements before mentioning the documents which students need to submit for the F1 visa application.

  • Must be attending an academic institution or an English program
  • Must be a Full-time student
  • The school must be approved by the USICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to accept foreign students
  • Show sufficient financial support to complete the study

The documents you’ll submit for the F1 student visa are:

  • 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)

How Do I Apply For An F1 Visa?


Any international student wanting to study in the USA will need to obtain a student visa for the USA. Most students are issued with an F1 visa, and the general outline/process flow for obtaining an F1 visa is as follows:

Now that you have an initial idea of the process flow, lets go into more detail on each stage:

Be Accepted At An SEVP Approved School

Before you can apply for your F1 student visa for the USA, you must apply to and be accepted by a school approved by the SEVP.

Pay Your SEVIS Fee And Receive Your I-20

Once you’re accepted, you will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee in order to be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Then, your school will provide you with a Form I-20. This form will be presented to the consular officer when you attend your F1 visa interview. If your spouse and/or children plan to reside in the USA with you while you study, they will be required to have individual Form I-20s, but they will not need to be enrolled in the SEVIS.

Complete The Visa Application

Applying for the F1 student visa may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate you are dealing with. You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee. There is an online visa application available, which allows you to complete and print the Form DS-160 to take to your F1 visa interview.

Schedule And Prepare For Your Interview

You can schedule your F1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. An F1 student visa for the USA can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F1 visa 30 days before your start date.

The following documents are required for your F1 visa interview:

  • 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)

Additional documents may be requested to prove your eligibility for the F1 student visa, including academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. Test scores such as the TOEFLSATGRE, or GMAT may also be requested, as well as proof of your intent to depart the U.S. after your program is complete and proof of your financial stability.

Attend Your F1 Visa Interview

Your F1 visa interview will determine whether you are qualified to receive an F1 student visa for the USA. Assuming that you have prepared the appropriate documents and meet all of the F1 visa requirements, your visa will be approved at the discretion of the consular officer.

You may be required to pay a visa issuance fee. Digital fingerprint scans will be taken for records. Your passport will be taken so that you can get your visa and you will be informed when you can get it back, either by pick-up or in the mail.

Items To Provide With Your Application

Although the process may vary or require additional steps, depending on your country and embassy or consulate, you will need the following when applying for your student visa:Application FeeYou will have to pay a non-refundable application fee.

This means that if your visa does not get approved, you will not get your money back. Form DS-160All applicants will need to complete and submit DS-160, the online application for a non-immigrant visa.

Form DS-157A DS-157 form for all males aged 16-45. A valid passport is valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date of at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States. If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make an application.photos you can upload a digital photo that is:

  • In color
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • It must be taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis

Conclusion:

This article was written with the intention to answer the numerous questions students have been asking with regards to F1 visa and all that concerns it.

If you’ve carefully read this article to this point, i’d like to think that the answers we’ve provided were able to satisfy your curiosity.

If it has, please let us know in the comment section below, and if not kindly ask your questions and we’d be sure to give you a response. You can also check A Complete Step By Step Guide To Getting A US Student Visa.

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