California F1 Visa Lawyer

Graduation CapThe United States has a robust higher education system, with many prestigious colleges and universities, as well as a wide array of other educational opportunities. Students from other countries often want to continue their education at one of our many educational institutions, and many schools are eager to have the best and brightest from other countries come learn at their institutions.

If a student wants to move to the United States to attend an academic institution, they will need to obtain an F1 or student visa. Though many people are able to successfully move to the U.S. to continue their education, that does not mean that the process is simple, easy, or straightforward. There are many eligibility requirements, forms to complete, and restrictions of which to be aware. Even though it is possible to apply for an F1 visa independently, working with an experienced California visa lawyer can make the process more straightforward and less stressful. Your attorney will help you prepare for the interview and application process, and they can help you respond to any objections or denials raised.

If you are thinking about furthering your education in the United States and will need an F1 visa, look to the lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law. With attorneys who have dedicated their entire careers to working in immigration law, you are sure to be in good hands. When you are ready, contact one of our experienced attorneys by calling (559) 878-4958 or by contacting us online.

What Can a California F1 Visa Attorney Do For Me?

The road to getting an F1 visa can be a long one, even under the best of circumstances. In fact, most people who apply for an F1 visa can expect to wait anywhere from 6 months to a full year to hear a decision about their status. With a timeline like that, the possibility of making a clerical error and having to start the whole process over again is almost unthinkable.

Further, delays in your F1 visa approval can mean changes to your academic program schedule, potentially even causing you to have to apply to a different school and start all over again.

Luckily, the lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law have over 40 years of combined experience in working with all types of immigration cases. Our team has the experience and expertise to make your application process as smooth as it can possibly be. You can rest easy knowing that an experienced professional is taking the reins on your application, giving you the best chance at successfully acquiring your student visa within the timeline you need it.

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers today

What is the Eligibility Criteria for F1 Visas?

There are five qualifications that someone applying for a student visa must have. These qualifications are as follows:

  • The student’s home country in not the United States
  • The student has already been accepted into an approved U.S. school or program
  • The student can show that they have ties to their home country
  • The student can prove that they have the financial means to support themselves while in the United States
  • The student intends to return to their home country once their academic program ends

F1 visas will not be issued to foreign nationals who intend to stay in the country after their educational program concludes. Students will have 60 days after the conclusion of their program to move out of the United States.

What is the Application Process for an F1 Visa?

There are five steps in the application process for obtaining an F1 visa. The steps are listed below:

  • The student must be accepted into a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved school. It is recommended that the potential student apply to their desired school or schools at least six months prior to the start of the term.
  • Once the student is accepted into the program, they must register in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and pay the SEVIS I-109 fee.
  • The school will issue the student a Form I-20, which is a certificate of eligibility that allows you to apply for the visa.
  • The student will then have to complete a DS-160 Form.
  • The student must then apply for the F1 visa at their local U.S. Embassy or consulate. At that time, they will need to undergo an interview and may be asked to bring various forms of documentation, such as a passport, standardized test scores, and past transcripts.

If you are unsure about any part of this process or have questions about which visa type is the best one for your particular situation, reach out to an experienced immigration attorney who can help you prepare for everything that’s needed.

What Schools in California Accept Students with an F1 Visa?

There are many schools in California that are eager and willing to accept students with an F1 visa. Though colleges and universities may be the first institutions that come to mind, many other educational programs are able to accommodate students with an F1 visa, including:

  • Language training schools
  • Conservatories
  • Cooking schools
  • Seminaries
  • Secondary schools

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Study in the States division, there are over 1,900 educational programs in California that accept students with an F1 visa. Some of these schools include:

  • University of California (UCLA)
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Stanford
  • Pepperdine University
  • California Science and Technology University
  • University of Southern California (USC)

What Will My F1 Visa Allow Me To Do?

If you are awarded your F1 visa, there are some restrictions. You may only enter the United States within 30 days within the start date of your academic program. Relatedly, you may only stay in the United States for no more than 60 days after the conclusion of your program. If you wish to come in earlier or stay longer, you will be required to apply for a different type of visa.

While your visa will allow you to attend school, it generally won’t allow you to work. If you are interested in trying to work, there are some strict guidelines about what is acceptable. If you are wanting to work while going to school, you must receive approval from both the Department of Homeland Security as well as your school. Additionally, you will only be able to work in very specific places for a specific amount of time — such as being only able to work for 20 hours each week in a job on campus during the semester, and you won’t be allowed to work at all during your first year in the program.

There are many strict rules and regulations that are put in place on F1 visas. If you have any questions about what you will and/or will not be able to do with an F1 visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney and schedule a no-obligation, confidential consultation. During this meeting, an attorney will be able to listen to your questions and concerns and help guide you to the course of action that best suits your needs.

Our Experienced Visa Attorneys Want to Help You!

We know that trying to navigate the immigration system in the United States can be an overwhelming and complicated endeavor. However, with over 40 years of combined experience, the immigration attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law are here to help you, from answering any questions you may have to helping you file all of the forms necessary to receive your visa.

We have made it our life’s work to help people work with the U.S. immigration system and we would love to be able to help you, too! Give us a Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to get started working towards the future you’ve always wanted. We look forward to hearing from you!