Every top immigration law firm encounters many myths when it comes to US visas and immigration rules. These myths can lead to confusion, false hopes, and worse, incorrectly submitted visa petitions. Today we’ll go through five of the most common myths surrounding the F-1 student visa, and shed some light on the facts.
Immigration Law Firm Mythbusters: F-1 Student Visa Edition
Myth #1: You must be proficient in English to get an F-1 visa.
FALSE. Many students study in the US to learn or improve their English. Although advanced English can be beneficial, it is not a blanket requirement. However, you must be proficient in order to enter a full-time study program that isn’t language based.
Myth #2: A limited number of student visas are available.
FALSE. There are no limits associated with F-1 student visas, both in the number issued or the country the visa holder is from. The number of visas approved in each year is determined by the number of students who are accepted to a qualifying American institution of learning. These institutions may have limits, but there is no cap on the visas themselves.
Myth #3: You must be an A+ student to get an F-1 visa.
FALSE. An immigration law firm can confirm that getting an F-1 visa has nothing to do with your achievements or test scores. When it comes to studying abroad in the United States, only the schools and universities where you apply will judge you by your academic achievement, not the federal government. You may qualify for certain schools or financial aid based on your grades, but the visa remains unaffected.
Myth #4: You can’t work and go to school at the same time with an F-1 visa.
FALSE. While there are a very limited number of opportunities to work while attending school on an F-1 visa, it can be done. All F-1 students are allowed to work on-campus for a limited number of hours. In certain circumstances, a student may be allowed to work off campus. Check with your school or a top immigration law firm to find out about your potential work opportunities.
Myth #5: After you graduate, you must immediately leave the country, no matter what.
FALSE. If you do not extend your student visa or change your visa status, you may remain in the U.S. for 60 days following the completion of your final degree requirement or post-completion optional practical training. Remember that completion of your final degree requirement may be significantly earlier than the date on which your degree is conferred. It is important to understand that many students continue to live, study, or work in the United States through different visa opportunities. A top immigration law firm may be able to explain which options apply to you.