Frequently Asked Questions
Applying for an F1 Visa requires lots of paper work meaning that you should have a couple of previously filled out forms and documents with you every time you visit during your F1 Visa application process. Since the paper work and progress circulation are so intense, foreign candidates for F1 Visa may get into trouble during the whole application process. There are certain questions asked by F1 Visa candidates and we are here to give all the answer to these questions in our article.
1. How Can I Extend My F1 Visa?
F1 Visa renewal requires your presence in your country. Since you can only get your visa in U.S. embassies in your counry, you will need to go back yo your country for your f1 visa renewal if your your visa expires when you are in the United States soil. A well-filled I-20 is your best friend during your F1 Visa renewal process. You need to update your I-20 form status if anything changes on your I-20 form data. As long as you have a valid and updated I-20 form, you can legally resident in the U.S. even if your visa expires during your schooling.
2. How Can I Maintain My F1 Visa Status?(SEVIS RECORDS)
TYour SEVIS records are so important because this web-based platform consists of information on your personal data. It is also very important that you should keep it up to date if you do not want to be troubled by law or government officials during your stay in the U.S. Your designated international student office is responsible for your personal data on SEVIS, if you have something that needs a change, you should visit them.
If you need to extend your I-20 form, do it because I-20 becomes more important when your F1 visa is about to expire. Upon starting a new educational program, you will be asked for a new I-20 form application.
3. PASSPORT VALIDITY
• You need to keep your passport updated because not just F1 visa students but also all foreigners need to present a valid passport if they want to enter the United States soil. A valid passport also need at leasy 6 months of validity left into the future. If your passport is expired, your country’s consulate or embassy can issue a renewed passport for you, only.
Your I-94 card should always be with you as well. It is always possible that you are troubled by a law enforcement issue and you need to prove that you are an legal resident with your documentations. You should take both your passport and I-94 with you all the time.
4. WORK PERMISSIONS
$The Department of Homeland Security has the full responsiblity for administration of Student and Exchange Visitor Program. You will need approval from both DHS and your international student office if you want to work off-campus. Working off-campus without any approval is a serious violation. All F1 visa students have right to work part-time on-campus after they complete an I-9 form.
5. DSO CONSULTANCY
Designated school officials (DSO) are your best source of information if you want to participate in certain activities or event applications. Every SEVP-certificied school has to have DSOs to solve any problems of F1 visa students and communicate with SEVP upon student-related issues. F1 visa student employment in the U.S. and obtaning driver’s license are the most common benefits among F1 visa students. There are some other things that you may benefit when you consult to your DSO. These can be listed as follows:
- Working in the U.S.
- Driver’s license application
- Travelling outside of the country
- Address change
- Social security number application
- Absency from classes
- Name changes
- School changes
- Major or program changes
It is for your own best to meet your DSO after your arrival in the U.S. They have all the information upon the legal requirements you have during your stay in the U.S. Consulting your DSO for important issues could also affect your U.S. stay maintenance.
6. Can I Take My Dependents with me?
If you already have a valid F1 visa, your spouse and your unmarried children under 21 years of age can apply for an F2 visa. F2 is an independent and limited visa in some ways. F2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the U.S. soil, not even in part-time jobs. F2 holders are considered to be supported by their F1 visa-holding family member in the eyes of the United States Government. F2 holders can not also study in a university, but they are are allowed to study in hobby-centered schools. If your children with F2 visa meet the age requirements, they can study in elemantary and secondary schools.
7.How Can F-1 Students Get Driver's License?
If you are an F-1 student visa holder and wants to obtain driver’s license, the very first thing that you should do is to see your school’s DSO, designated school officials. DSOs have all the information about nonimmigrant international student-related benefits. Driver’s license and Social Security number application are the most common benefits that F-1 visa holders wish to obtain in the United States soil. Do not forget that you are allowed to drive motor vehicles with your driving license, only.
The steps for obtaining a driver’s license could be different in each state, however it is mostly similar in most of the states. Here are all the things that you should do to obtain your driver’s license:
- Consult your school’s DSO about everything related to driving rules in your state.
- Some states could ask you to obtain a social security number.
- Wait for at least 10 days in the United States before you application. This is required because your Form I-94 information will be updated in the government systems.
- Department of Motor Vehicles will give your certain documents and you are expected to submit them all.
8. All Documents Needed for F-1 Student Driver’s Licence Application
The paperwork is very exhausting in the United States in all situations. However, there are certain forms that you must show the officials in every case. For example, Form I-20 is the most important document which you are expected to carry with you all the time. I-20 means that you are legally residing in the United States soil. Here are all the documents that you should be with your during your driver’s license application process:
- Your every form I-20 documents signed by different government agencies or officials.
- Your valid passport and valid F-1 visa ( recent one )
- If you are from a visa-exempt country like Canada, you will not need a visa.
- Optional practical training participants could be asked to bring their Form I-766.
- You should bring your Social Security Number Card if your state requires it.