F-1 Visa, SEVIS and BCIS

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F-1 Visa: – 

The “F-1” visa is for USA academic studies for foreign Students. It’s a non-immigrant visa for student, which will permit the applicant to stay for a particular period of time in the United States to accomplish the purpose of studying. All applicants for F1 visas must overcome the legal presumption that they are intending immigrants. To qualify for a Visa, applicants must demonstrate that they: – 

  • Plan to remain in the U.S. for only a specific, limited time.
  • Have sufficient funds for the stay in the U.S.
  • Have a residence outside the U.S., as well as other binding obligations, which will ensure departure at the conclusion of the stay in the U.S.

Once an F-1 visa has been issued please be aware, however, that new U.S. law allows students and trainees to enter the United States no more than 30 days before the program start date indicated on their I-20 or DS-2019. In general, we recommend that such visa holders ENTER NO MORE THAN 10 DAYS before their program start date. While it is possible to enter up to 30 days in advance, students/trainees should be prepared to justify to immigration officials the need for any earlier arrival.


STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR INFORMATION SYSTEM. Beginning January 30, 2003, all forms I-20 issued by academic educational institutions, must be created within the SEVIS  system. As of January 30, 2003 all new forms I-20 issued on or after that date must be SEVIS  compatible documents. All students must present a SEVIS-generated form I-20, if they are applying for  a visa after January 30, 2003. These new forms are printed on a single sheet of paper and will have a large black bar code down the top right hand side of the form.

SEVIS is basically a system to enable U.S. academic institutions to maintain accurate and timely data on foreign students, and their dependents, and communicate this information to the now BCIS formerly known as U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Department of State in real time.

BCIS: – 

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) became the Bureau of Citizenship and  Immigration Services (BCIS), moving from its organizational home in the Department of Justice to the newly created Department of Homeland Security.

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