Jump to Navigation

F Visas

F visas are issued pursuant to INA §101(a)(15)(F), 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(15)(F); 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f), 9 FAM 41.61; 67 FR 76256.

F visas are issued to applicants who are bona fide students qualified to pursue a full course of study.

F visa applicant needs to demonstrate that s/he seeks to enter the U.S. as a student "temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established institution of learning or other recognized place of study in the United States."

Applicant will study only at an institution designated by him and approved by ICE in compliance with the SEVIS program. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(1)(i)(A).

Applicant will not attend a public elementary school or publicly funded adult education program, and will not attend a public secondary school unless he or she attends the secondary school for a period not in excess of 12 months and demonstrates that he or she has reimbursed the school board the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of the education. INA §214(m)(1), 8 U.S.C. §1184(m)(1).

Family members are eligible to seek F-2 visas. Family members, on F-2s, may not attend school without change of status (C/S) to F-1, J-1 or M-1, except that a child may attend school through 12th grade. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(15). However, the F-2 spouse may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature. 9 FAM 41.61 N12.4. The F‑2 spouse or child (beyond the 12th grade) who wishes to attend school must obtain an I‑20. F‑2s may not attend school while their C/S is pending.

Employment of F-1 Visa Holders

No employment during first academic year (i.e., 9 months) except for on-campus work, which can begin as soon as the student is admitted in F-1 status. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(ii). Students who transfer after being given work authorization need new authorization to work. After 1st year, a student in good standing may obtain employment off campus as determined by the DSO if:

(1) Severe Economic Hardship Caused by Unforeseen Circumstances Beyond Student's Control-8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C). To work off-campus the student must be in good academic standing and carrying a full course of study. Supporting documentation as to economic hardship is needed. May only work 20 hours per week when school is in session. May work full time during holidays or school vacations.

(2) Internship with International Organization-8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(iii). A bona fide student offered employment by a recognized international organization must apply for an EAD on Form I-765. Must obtain certification from employer that work is within scope of the organization sponsorship, and must submit SEVIS I-20 endorsed by DSO within last 30 days.

On-Campus Employment

(1) First-year prohibition is inapplicable. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(i).

(2) Includes work performed on school premises (including on-site commercial firms providing services for students such as the student bookstore) or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. The affiliation must be associated with school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects if post-graduate level and must be an integral part of the student's educational program. [[Page 719]] 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(i). While school is in session, F-1s can only work 20 hours/week. Permitted to work only when it will not displace U.S. workers. When school is not in session, may work full-time. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9)(i). On campus employment not permitted if course of study completed unless it is practical training. Id.

Off-Campus Employment

(1) Employment Due to Emergent Circumstances-DHS Secretary may suspend all or some of the requirements of on- and off-campus employment by notice in the Federal Register. Suspension may permit the students to work full time and to reduce their course load during the period of the notice's effect. 8 C.F.R. §§214.2(f)(5)(v), (6)(i)(F), (9)(i). Previously, INS designated students from Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, and suspended the 20-hour limit on and off campus as well as the requirement of a full course of study. In the case of on-campus employment the DSO must note it on the SEVIS I-20 after receiving evidence that it was necessary to avoid severe economic hardship. 63 FR 31872 (June 10, 1998).

Contact Our Firm

To schedule an appointment with Los Angeles visa attorney Artem M. Sarian, contact Sarian Law Group, APLC. We have offices in Glendale and Los Angeles, California, to serve you.

Schedule A Consultation

office locations

Sarian Law Group, APLC
700 N. Brand Boulevard, Suite 530
Glendale, CA 91203

Phone: 818-545-9555
Toll Free: 1-888-545-9515
Fax: 818-545-9511
Glendale Law Office Map

Office Map Location

Los Angeles Office
300 North Los Angeles Street, #531372
Los Angeles, CA 90053
Map and Directions

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1332
Glendale, CA 91209-1332

We Speak Armenian