Which Visa Is Best for Students? F1 Visa Lawyer Explains

Diana Levy is an experienced F1 visa lawyer, helping foreign students get the student status they need to pursue their studies in the US. Learn more here.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Student Visa?

International students who want to attend school in the United States must apply for a student visa, specifically the F-1 student visa. It is a short-term visa granted to international students who want to continue their studies in the United States at an accredited college or university.

An F-1 visa, more often known as a student visa, is granted to international students who have been accepted into an academic program or English Language Program at a university or college in the United States.

To keep their status as full-time students, they must take a certain number of credits each semester. They are also permitted to stay in the United States for up to sixty days after finishing their academic program.

You may evaluate numerous possibilities to prolong your stay in the United States after you graduate by consulting an immigration law firm practicing student visa law.

F-1 Student Visa Requirements Under Immigration Law

To apply for an F-1 student visa, you must keep various F-1 visa requirements in mind. For your application to be considered, you must demonstrate that you meet these conditions. Ideally, a family immigration lawyer can help you meet all the requirements.

Enrollment at a US University or College

The educational institution or college where you want to enroll must first get authorization from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

You must be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited school for the whole of the academic semester to meet the enrollment requirements.

English Proficiency

You must submit a score equivalent to or higher than the institution’s minimum requirement for English language proficiency. Alternatively, you can enroll in an English language training program to become more proficient in English.


You must present proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and educational program while in the United States.


You must have a passport that is valid for travel for a minimum of six months after you have finished your academic education program in the US.

Residence Abroad

You need to have a place to live in your home country so that you may go back there after you have finished earning your degree to call it your permanent residence.

F-1 Student Visa Application Process

The methods necessary to apply for student visas may differ depending on the US consulate or embassy to which you submit your application. Visit USEmbassy.Gov to check the exact criteria for your embassy or consulate of the United States.

To start the procedure for getting an F-1 student visa, you must:

  • Complete the online application for a Nonimmigrant visa, Form DS-160. Please print and take this application form confirmation page to your F-1 student visa interview.
  • Comply with the photo standards and upload your photo with your online application.
  • After submitting your application online, you may arrange an interview at any US embassy or consulate. It is preferable to schedule an interview in the region where you hold permanent residence. You may want to apply for your F-1 student visa as soon as possible since interview wait periods vary by region and season.

F-1 Student Visa Required Documents:

You must get a few papers before your F-1 visa interview and bring them with you on the interview day. Failing to provide these supporting documents may endanger your F-1 visa acceptance. This is another reason why an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles might be helpful for your case.

  • You must have a valid passport for at least six months after your expected departure from the United States.

  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.

  • Receipt for application fee Payment.

  • If your picture fails to upload when submitting your online application for a nonimmigrant visa, you must bring a printed photo that fits the criteria for the interview.

  • After entering your information into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database, your institution will mail you a Form I-20 created by SEVIS. You and a school official must sign form I-20.

F-1 Visa Interview

During the F-1 student visa interview, digital fingerprints will be captured and stored in a database.

Consular officers will assess whether you are eligible and have fulfilled all conditions to be granted the desired visa category. After the interview, your visa may face further administrative processing, typically completed within sixty days.

After receiving approval for an F-1 student visa, you may check the visa processing time to anticipate when the visa will be available for pickup or delivery.

Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer for a Student Visa?

When applying for a US study and exchange visa, you often do not need the legal assistance of a student visa attorney. However, employing a student visa attorney can simplify the visa process for you and may assist you in the following ways:

  • Your immigration attorney can help represent you at the embassy or consulate.
  • The attorney may assist you in assembling the essential supporting documentation for Form I-20.
  • A student visa lawyer may help you accurately complete the visa application paperwork.
  • The lawyer can prepare you and plan for your visa interview.
  • If you need to file a waiver request after a refusal, your lawyer can help.
  • An immigration lawyer can help you understand immigration laws that concern the entire process of student visa application.

As you prepare for your F-1 student visa application, it is essential to remain organized and have an immigration attorney’s assistance. If you need help with the student visa application process, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles can guide you through the entire process.

Immigration Services at the Law Offices of Diana L. Levy

As immigration lawyers, we handle a wide range of complex cases. Over the years, our diligent and competent attorneys have helped many students and foreign nationals move smoothly to the United States.

Our legal team can assist you with the F-1 student visa process, from completing Form I-20 to preparing you for the student visa interview. Schedule a consultation at our law office today if you need help with the student visa process.

Our client-oriented and knowledgeable attorneys will help you understand the entire process and guarantee a successful outcome. Contact us today to get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does an F-1 Visa Sponsorship Cost?

The application fee for an F-1 visa can cost about $160. The person paying for the visa fee is usually considered the sponsor.

How Much Does a US Immigration Lawyer Cost?

In general, student visa lawyers are not the highest-paid lawyers. They adapt their prices because customers often have trouble gaining the right to operate in the United States. It has become customary for many service providers to charge flat costs rather than hourly rates.

Can F-1 Recipients Get Permanent Residency?

Yes, F-1 recipients can get green cards through employment, marriage, extraordinary ability, or dual intent.

What Is the Purpose of the Exchange Visitors Program?

The Exchange Visitor Program offers foreign nationals the opportunity to gain experience, knowledge, and skills in their respective fields. It also allows international students to stay in the United States to learn about American culture. The program also promotes cultural exchange between the United States and other countries.