F1 visas allow hundreds of thousands of foreign students to study at universities and public schools all across the United States.
If you wish to pursue academic studies in the United States, you must be eligible for F-1 student status.
This page contains links which explain how you can get an F-1 student visa, how you can qualify for a work permit under Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM-OPT, how to change your status to H-1B professional employee and, finally, how to become a permanent resident of the United States.
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F1 Visas is divided into the following subtopics:
- F-1 Students – General Information
- Recent University Graduates
- Employment for University Students
- Guides to Studying in the U.S.
- Ban on Students Taking Only Online Classes
- California Sanctuary School Guidance
- F-1 Visas: Additional Resources
F1 Visas – General Information
- STEM OPT HUB (DHS)
- Education USA: Your Guide to U.S. Higher Education (State Department)
- Students and Employment (USCIS)
RECENT UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
Graduation day is approaching and you’ve finally made it. You are about to receive your diploma and go out into the working world. You and your classmates are competing for the best jobs, but you feel at a disadvantage because you are not a U.S. citizen or even a green card holder. How are you supposed to navigate through the strange new world of immigration laws and procedures?
The links below are a practical guide for foreign-born students about to graduate from universities in the United States:
- Optional Practical Training
- STEM OPT
- Temporary Working Visas: Who is Eligible?
- Procedure to Obtain H-1B Status
- Numerical Limitation
- Duration of H-1B Status
- Applying for Permanent Residence
- Employment-Based Immigration
- What is PERM?
- Alternatives to Labor Certification
- Getting Your Green Card
EMPLOYMENT FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS/GRADUATES
- Optional Practical Training (ICE)
- USCIS Interim Memo on Eligibility for 17-Month Extension of STEM OPT (10-6-13)
- Optional Practical Training Update (ICE) – (4-23-10)
- Judge Rejects Student Visa Injunction Sought by H-1B Opponents (8-07-08)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) Regulations (4-08-08)
- Updates to Post-Completion Optional Practical Training – 30 Pages (4-25-08)
- STEM Designated Degree Programs (ICE)
- USCIS Announces Increase from 12 to 29 Months for OPT for “Certain” Students (4-04-08)
GUIDES TO STUDYING on F1 VISAS
- Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study?
- Student and Exchange Visitor Program (ICE)
- Study in the US – STEM OPT Hub
- STEM OPT Extension Overview
- International Student Organization
- Princeton Review
- U.S. Journal of Academics
Ban on Students Taking Only Online Classes
In the summer of 2020, the Trump Administration attempted to ban F-1 students from being in the United States if all of their classes were online. Harvard, MIT and a number of other parties sued the Administration in Federal Court, and the government immediately backed down!
- Foreign-Born Students Can Remain in the US Taking Only Online Courses (7-14-20)
- Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Officials Over Rule Blocking Some International Students (7-08-20)
- Trump Visa Rules Seen as Way to Pressure Colleges on Reopening (7-07-20)
- ICE: Foreign Students Must Leave The U.S. If Their Colleges Go Online-Only This Fall (7-06-20)
- SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during fall 2020 semester – ICE (7-06-20)
California Sanctuary School Guidance
- Sanctuary School Guidance (3-28-18)
- School Guidance Quick Reference (3-28-18)
- Student and Family Checklist (Spanish) (3-28-18)
- Student and Family Checklist (English(3-28-18)
F1 Visas: Additional Resources
- U.S. International Student Enrollment Dropped As Canada’s Soared (3-3-22)
- Federal Court Enjoins Enforcement Of Unlawful Presence Memo For Students & Exchange Visitors (5-03-19)
- Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants – NAFSA (10-24-18)
- New USCIS Unlawful Presence Regulation Challenged in Federal Court (10-23-18)
- USCIS Tightens Unlawful Presence Rules For Persons in F, J and M Status (8-09-18)
- AAO Non-Precedent Decisions on Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.