An F-1 student is a nonimmigrant that is pursuing a "full
course of study" towards a specific educational or professional objective, at an
academic institution in the United States that has been designated by the Immigration
and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.) to offer courses of study to such students.
Once the educational or professional objectives have been attained, the F-1 student
is expected by the U.S. government to return to his or her residence abroad.
A student obtains F-1 status using Form I-20A-B, issued by an
I.N.S. approved school. Status is obtained in one of two ways:
- If the student is abroad, by entering the United States with the I-20 A-B and
an F-1 visa obtained at a U.S. consulate
- If the student is already in the Unites States, by sending the I-20 A-B to
I.N.S. with application for change of nonimmigrant status.