All About Student Visas

Every year people from overseas look to expand their education. A very popular way to do this is to become a student at an American school. Let’s look at the student visa also called an F1. 

What is a student visa?

The F1 visa allows foreign nationals to lawfully enter the United States for the purpose of attending school. It is a nonimmigrant visa meaning that at the end of the period, the student will not be receiving permanent residency in the US. 

How do I obtain a student visa?

In order to obtain a student visa there are certain steps.

  • One of the first requirements is to apply to a US school and be accepted. Different schools will have different criteria for a foreign student. Depending on the course of study, the student should apply to a school that they are most interested in. When selecting a school, the student should make sure that the school is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. You can make sure by going online at This link will provide you with a list of approved schools. 
  • Once the school accepts your application, you will be entered into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System and given a form called an I-20. The I-20 is one of the main documents required at the consular office, as this must be provided to the consular officer. 
  • Before attending the interview at the US consulate, the student must prepare documents to bring with them. Besides the I-20, students should bring the following documents: passport, financial documents proving enough funds to pay for schooling and living expenses, any affidavits from sponsors or co-sponsors, current school transcripts (translated), and form DS-160. 
  • The DS-160 is required before the US consulate is able to proceed with an interview. On this application, they will ask you for such things as address, family members, employment, education, social media information, contact information and a few other personal details. Answer in its entirety and truthfully, as lying on it can cause issues in your visa application. 
  • At the US consulate, the officer will interview the student. They will make sure all information presented to them is correct and factual. Be prepared to answer questions truthfully however, never guess when you are unsure of how to answer. It is always better to answer as I am not sure, I don’t know, or I can’t remember. Guessing on an answer can cause problems when you answer something incorrectly, as the officer may think you are being untruthful. 
  • Once you complete the interview, the officer will either let you know at that moment if your visa is granted or if they require more information. If they require more information, then listen to them carefully and provide it as soon as possible. If no other information is required then you will be granted the student visa. 

If you or someone you know is interested in a student visa, they should contact an immigration attorney to discuss the procedures for their specific situation, as all cases are different. Hwang Law Group may be based in Las Vegas, Nevada, but our experienced immigration attorney is capable of assisting anyone, anywhere regarding their immigration concerns. Reach out today.