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.