F Student Visa
F visas are issues to foreign nationals who are enrolled in academic programs.
Those wishing to pursue academic studies in the United States must first obtain a Form I-20 from the school in which they will enroll and can then apply for a student visa at the U.S. Consulate in their home country. Students are allowed to remain in the United States for the “duration of status” but must maintain status by attending school on a full-time basis unless authorized to do otherwise. Students who fail to maintain status may apply for reinstatement. Students also receive periods of Optional Practical Training (OPT) during which time they may undertake paid employment in their field. Upon completion of the academic program and practical training period, the student has a 60-day grace period in which to leave the country.
Under the Diversity Visa or Lottery program, 50,000 immigrant visas are allocated to applicants randomly selected by the Department of State.
To be eligible for the program, an alien must be a national of a foreign state on the list of countries designated by the Department of State as a low-admission state and possess at least a high-school education or its equivalent or, within five years before applying for the visa, have completed two years of work experience in a field requiring at least two years’ training or experience.