F-1 Academic Students

What is a student visa and who is eligible?

A student visa allows students who enroll in schools in the United States to enter and live in the country while attending a university, college, high school or other academic institution. There is more than one type of visa available for students depending upon what kind of school they intend to attend, as well as the duration they plan to stay. A student with an academic visa can usually stay in the United States for the amount of time that they are a full-time student. A visa lawyer can assist the student in discovering which visa to apply for according to these factors.

Students who apply for an academic visa must also meet certain other criteria, including:

  • The person applying must have an established residence in a country other than the United States, and exhibit no intention of abandoning that residence;
  • The person applying must fully intend to leave the United States upon completion of the educational program in which he or she has enrolled; and
  • The person applying must demonstrate that they have the funds necessary to complete the proposed educational program.
SEVIS and SEVP

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is maintained on the internet in order to enable quick and efficient communication between student visitors and the Department of State. It is part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to assist the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security in monitoring entries and exits to and from the United States. The school or learning institution to which the student applies must be certified by the SEVP in order for the student to obtain an academic visa.

Application Process

In most cases, for people between the ages of 14 and 79, an interview for an academic visa conducted at a US Embassy or Consulate will be required, including fingerprinting, and other varying questions and requirements depending upon each applicant’s personal and academic situation. A visa lawyer can assist you in applying for your visa, scheduling an interview and putting together the required documents and forms you will need, or may need to submit in order to obtain a visa.

Returning and Duration of Stay

Students who leave the United States and are away from classes for more than five months will usually need to obtain a new visa. The duration of stay is limited to the time it takes for the student to reasonably complete the program of study at the school where he is enrolled. Depending upon the type of academic visa the student obtains, he or she may qualify to stay for an addition 30-60 days before departing the United States in order to prepare for departure or enroll in another school.

Students who remain beyond the final date on their visa automatically cause their visa to become void, and will be regarded as breaking United States immigration laws. It may become more difficult or impossible for students who break immigration laws to obtain an academic visa in the future.

When Should You Hire an Attorney to Assist in Your Academic Visa Matter?

As noted above, the F1 Academic Visa process can be very complicated, given the number of requirements and documents that must be submitted for consideration before being granted this benefit.

Unless applicants are prepared to educate themselves on the detailed requirements of obtaining an F1 Visa, their best option may be to hire a qualified immigration attorney, who can do all the necessary work to make sure that the process runs smoothly and that the legal requirements are met without undue delay or confusion.

If you or someone you know is interested in obtaining a F1 Academic Visa, Austin, Texas immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm can help. Ms. Lyttle has helped many clients with U.S. immigration matters, and she can help applicants in obtaining their student Visa. Furthermore, because obtaining a Visa is a matter of federal law, rather than state law, she can handle student Visa applications for citizens living in any state, not merely the State of Texas.

Because Ms. Lyttle is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, she can communicate directly with clients in these languages, read and understand documents in these languages, and communicate with any foreign officials in these languages, if necessary.

The Lyttle Law Firm can give you and your family members peace of mind in undertaking this difficult and potentially frustrating and time-consuming task. Once hired, the Lyttle Law Firm will take over the application process from beginning to end, keeping clients informed, and taking the stress out of the process. If you need assistance obtaining an F1 Academic Visa, contact the Lyttle Law Firm.