F-1 Student Visa
An F-1 visa may be granted at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy to an individual who is qualified to pursue a full course of study at an academic or language institution authorized to admit foreign students. At the embassy or consulate, the individual will be required to submit an I-20 form and proof of adequate funding for one year of study (or the length of the program if less than one year), along with the application for a nonimmigrant visa (OF-156). In addition, the individual must prove that he or she intends to enter the United States for educational purposes only and that the applicant has a permanent residence in a foreign country and strong family or business ties which he or she has no intention of abandoning.
It is extremely important for a student on an F-1 visa to maintain legal status throughout the program of study in the U.S. The illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 places a particular emphasis on the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining F-1 student status. Please read the Staying Legal section below and the Maintaining Your Legal Status section on this website to review the basic immigration regulations governing F-1 students.
An individual who enters the U.S. in B-2 visitor status should be engaged in the following types of activities: visits with friends or relatives, travel, sightseeing, or medical treatment. A B-2 visitor will be admitted for a minimum period of six months and may be eligible to apply to the Citizen and Immigration Services (CIS) for extensions of stay in increments no longer than six months each.
A student who plans to study at Cedarville University should not attempt to enter on a tourist visa. The immigration officer at the port of entry will refuse entry if he or she determines that an alien is entering on a B-2 visa for purposes other than those of a tourist nature.
We strongly recommend that a new student contact the office of international student services if he or she is having trouble obtaining an F-1 or J-1 student visa. To enter the U.S. on a tourist visa is not a viable solution.
Visa Waiver Program (WT)
An individual may be eligible to enter the U.S. in "B" visitor status without a visa, provided he or she has a valid passport issued by a designated country, a round-trip airline ticket, and the intent to stay in the U.S. for a period not to exceed 90 days. The following countries participate in the visa waiver program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
A visitor who applies for entry under the visa waiver program is not eligible for an extension beyond the 90 days and cannot work, study, or change to another nonimmigrant visa status.
We strongly recommend that a new student contact the office of international student services if he or she is having trouble obtaining a F-1 student visa. To enter the U.S. on the visa waiver program is not a viable solution.
There are basic requirements for maintaining student status in the United States. If you are an international student, it is very important to follow the guidelines below to ensure that you remain in good standing with the CIS:
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
- Attend the school noted on your I-20.
- Maintain full-time enrollment each semester.
- Do not engage in studies beyond the completion date listed on the I-20. If more time is needed, obtain a Program Extension before the completion date has passed.
- Report a change of address or phone number to the Cedarville registrar or the office of international student services within 10 days of a change.
- If you have changed your major or degree level, obtain a new I-20 which reflects this program of study from the office of international student services.
- If you commence studies at another school, make sure that the transfer process is completed. Visit the international student office at your new school to obtain a new I-20, and tell the advisor that you are a transfer student. The new school should take care of the rest.
- Do not work without obtaining proper employment permission from the CIS. Limit on-campus employment to a total of 20 hours per week (even if you have more than one job) while school is in session.
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