Student Visa Extension

If you are a citizen of a foreign country, and wish to attend college or university in the United States, you might be able to do so through a student visa.

A "visa" is a document that allows you to enter the United States legally. They are issued for many different purposes, and include work visas, family visas, and others. One of the most common types of visas issued by the U.S. government are student visas, allowing individuals, if they meet certain conditions, to come to the United States legally, for the purpose of pursuing higher education.

LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

The visa issued for students studying at American colleges or universities is called the F-1 Visa. This visa is also known as an Exchange Visitor Visa, and it can be used to gain entrance to the U.S. for a wide variety of educational and cultural purposes. Read more


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Qualifying Requirements for a F-1 Student Visa

In order to qualify for a F-1 Student Visa, you must meet several requirements. First, you must have a residence abroad, and no immediate intention of abandoning your residence. You must also provide reasonable assurance to the consular officials issuing your visa that you intend to depart the United States when your studies are complete, and you must show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while studying in the United States.

It's important to note that while you are in the U.S. on an F-1 visa, you are not authorized to work. The only exception is for on-campus employment of no more than 20 hours per week. You can also get permission from the USCIS to do work that's related to your education, such as internships and on-the-job training.

If you have a spouse and/or children, they can come to the U.S. with you, on what is known as an F-2 visa. They are authorized to be in the U.S. as long as you are so authorized. Generally, your spouse and children are not authorized to work in the U.S. while on an F-2 visa, so you will have to show that you have the ability to support them financially.

If you are a national of Mexico or Canada, you can also apply for an F-3 visa, which lets you study in the U.S. while still residing in your home country. You would then commute to your school from your home. Obviously, this is only practical if you live very close to the U.S. border, and the school you are attending is also close to the border.

The United States boasts some of the finest universities in the world, and it also has a robust system of vocational and trade schools, so it's not surprising that people from all over the world want to study in the U.S. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, and are considering studying in the U.S., you should go to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, and speak with a representative to get instructions on how to proceed. If your situation is highly unusual, you may also need the help of an American immigration attorney.

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