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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

The F-1 visa is a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows non-immigrants to enter the U.S. to engage in full-time course of study and pursue an educational degree. F-1 visas are only issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the U.S.

F-1 & F-2 Visa

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 visa is a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows non-immigrants to enter the U.S. to engage in full-time course of study and pursue an educational degree. F-1 visas are only issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the U.S.

Once admitted to UCLA, students are eligible to obtain an F-1 visa by visiting their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate and presenting their UCLA I-20 with additional supporting documents such as proof of financial support and SEVIS fee payment receipt. Students are expected to report to and attend the educational institution that issued their I-20 before they are eligible to transfer to another institution.

F-2 Dependent Visa

The F-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to the dependents (spouse and children) of an F-1 student. F-2 visa holders are not eligible for employment authorization and may not engage in full-time course of study. Dependents must have an F-2 dependent I-20 issued to them by the institution sponsoring the F-1 visa to be eligible to obtain an F-2 visa at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

F-1 Status Requirements

UCLA F-1 students must maintain the following at all times to maintain valid F-1 status in the U.S.:

  • Valid UCLA I-20
  • Valid passport (with at least 6 months of validity into the future)
  • Full-time enrollment each academic term (fall, winter and spring quarters), (fall and spring semesters for LLM, JD and SJD students)
  • No more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class or 3 credits per session may count towards the "full course of study" requirement, if an online or distance education course "does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class."

What is SEVIS and SEVP?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State better monitor schools and exchange programs sponsoring F, M, and J visa holders. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa holders), exchange visitors (J visa holders), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2 visa holders).

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