By definition, a student requesting a F-1 visa is seeking to come to the United States to pursue full-time academic studies or English language training at a government approved institution of higher education. In order to obtain an F-1 visa, a student must first apply to their desired college or university, receive a Form I-20, and schedule an interview with the US Consulate. For a complete checklist of how to become a F-1 student at BCTC, visit our International Student Checklist webpage.
All International Students will need a BCTC I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status, a valid F-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport) issued by the U.S. embassy/consulate overseas, a valid passport, and your SEVIS fee receipt. To enter the U.S. as an F-1 student, Canadian citizens do not need U.S. visas. Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date in section 5 on your I-20. When you enter the U.S., you will receive an admission stamp in your passport marked F-1 and D/S (duration of status) or you can access your I-94 electronically.
Once the F-1 student arrives in the United States, they must maintain their legal status. Failure to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Regulations and college policies may result in termination of the students' I-20 and possible deportation.
To maintain their legal status, an F-1 student should:
- Obey the laws of the United States.
- Attend the mandatory International Student Orientation on Cooper Campus.
- Attend the college you are authorized to attend. This is the college that issued your I-20.
- Maintain communication with the BCTC PDSO (Primary Designated School Official) concerning any changes that you would like to make concerning your housing, class schedule, etc.
- Be in good academic standing and make progress towards an academic program.
- Extend your I-20 prior to its expiration date if you are unable to complete your academic program by the original expiration date.
- Maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year. A full-time student is a student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours.
- Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during academic year.
- Students should not work off campus without authorization.
- Keep your passport valid at all times. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future on the day you return to the U.S. from a trip abroad.
- If you plan to study abroad, obtain the endorsement signature from the BCTC PDSO or DSO.
- Maintain health insurance coverage.