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How to Get and Keep Your F-1 Visa

Whenever one sees international students on a US college campus, one can bet they entered USA on a F-1 visa. This is a visa for a full-time academic or language student. The best advantage of this visa is a student can remain in USA till he completes his studies. That means till he gets a degree or certificate. Most students stay a few years. F-1 visa is the most common student visa, which is being issued.

This is not the only advantage. International students can transfer from one school to another school. The only thing one needs to do is to notify the immigration service of this change. What is also great about having a F-1 visa is a student can travel out of USA without any difficulties.

Visas are also available for a student's immediate relatives, such as the spouse and the kids. Another advantage is a person who has a F-1 Visa can work part-time on campus. He might even ask for a permission to work off campus.

What immigration problems can F-1 students potentially face?

Some F-1 visa students have to leave USA in the middle of their studies because they lose their student status.

This can happen for various reasons. Being kicked out of college is what usually happens to those who fail to maintain a minimum required GPA for graduation. Some international students get so "assimilated" into our college environment they begin to party excessively along with the rest of student population. Consequently, they forget about their studies.

However, there are a few F-1 students who lose their status for reasons that are not within their scope of control. Although knowing English is a requirement for foreign students to get a F-1 visa, some students still do not have enough knowledge to do well in college. This problem could have been easily corrected if the student could have choosen to enroll in English classes prior to majoring in some subject.

Some international students might experience personal or family problems that make it harder for them to concentrate on their studies. Typically, a death in the family or a divorce might have a profound effect on a person's grades. Being in another country is also not an easy task.

Frankly, we consult more students who used to party excessively while they attended college than the students with some personal or family problems.

Whenever you lose your student status while being in USA on a F-1 Visa, you must consult a US immigration attorney on many issues, such as a student status reinstatement.

As you know when you are being kicked out of college, you are to lose your F-1 Visa. Since you are being granted a STUDENT visa, you will be in USA illegally if you choose to continue to stay in USA.

One disadvantage of having a F-1 visa is that your accompanying spouse might not work. We had personally seen quite a few cases where the spouse violated this rule. This can lead to revocation of student visa privillages.

If you are here on a F-1 visa, the best thing you can do is to know all requirements for continuing to have this visa while in USA. Violating requirements and thinking that noone will find out is the wrong approach to take.

Please return to our F-1 visa Home page.

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