What is an F-1 Student?
An F-1 student is an individual who is pursuing a "full course of study" at an academic institution that has been authorized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to offer courses to foreign students. At the completion of studies, the student is expected to return to his or her residence abroad.
Obtaining a Student Visa
In order to enter the United States you must have an F-1 student visa (the only exceptions to this are Canadian citizens). To obtain an F-1 student visa for attendance at The Citadel you must first apply to The Citadel Admissions Office. After all admission standards have been met and you have been accepted, the International Student Advisor in the Office of Multi-cultural Student Services & International Studies (MSSIS) will issue you a Sevis Form I-20. You will use this I-20 form when applying for your nonimmigrant visa (F-1 visa).
If you are entering the U.S from abroad, you must have the school issued Form I-20 and an F-1 visa obtained at a U.S consulate from your country of residence. When applying for an F-1 visa at the U.S embassy or consulate in your country you will be required to show the government the following:
- A valid passport for at least six months.
- The Form I-20 issued by the school you are planning to attend.
- Financial ability to meet educational and living expenses for one year in the United States.
- Intention to enter the U.S for educational purposes only, and that you intend to depart at the completion of your studies.
- Proof of a residence outside the U.S that you will return to upon completion of studies.
If your visa has expired you will have to obtain a new one from the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. To renew your visa at a US Embassy or Consulate you will need to have the following documents:
- A new I-20 form obtained from MSSIS
- "Visa Renewal Letter" obtained from MSSIS
- Updated financial statement of your ability to meet educational and living expenses
- Intention to reenter the US for educational purposes only, and that you intend to depart at the completion of your studies
- Proof of a residence outside the U.S. that you will return to upon completion of studies
- Please note that it is not possible to obtain a new F-1 visa inside of the United States.