F Visas - International Students

F-1 visas are for students wishing to study full-time in the United States. Applicants must intend to enroll in an academic educational program, a language training program, or a vocational program at an institution approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP). An applicant must also be proficient in English, or enrolled to study English. Further, applicants must maintain a residence abroad and must prove that he or she has sufficient finances for self-support while studying in the United States. If the applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements, he or she will be presented with a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-20 issued by the school where he or she will study.

Employment authorization is available to F-1 students. During the first academic year of study, an F-1 student may not work off-campus, but may begin on-campus work as soon a the student is admitted in F-1 status. After the first academic year, off-campus employment is available in the form of practical training, curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT). CPT may be granted on a part-time or a full-time basis and OPT may be utilized either prior to or after the completion of a course of study. It is important that F-1 students comply with the many requirements of admission. Problems often arise in the context of accepting employment, and students must coordinate with their school and must understand pertinent regulations and requirements in order to maintain status. If you plan to study in the United States, or are currently an F-1 student that has questions about maintaining, extending, or changing your status, contact a Kansas City immigration lawyer today.  

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