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F-1 Students

F-1 Students

If you would like to study as a full-time student in the United States, you will generally need a student visa. The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college or university, other academic institution, or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

After you have been formally accepted to Buffalo State, we will send you a Form I-20. The I-20 is a document issued by a U.S. government-approved educational institution certifying that a student has been admitted to a full-time study program and has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the United States. The I-20 is officially titled the “Certificate of Eligibility” because it allows an individual to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

USCIS Information for Student & Exchange Visitors

Applying for an F-1 Visa

You will need to apply for an F-1 visa after you receive your Form I-20 from Buffalo State. There are four primary steps to apply for your F-1 visa:

  • Pay the SEVIS fee
  • Schedule your visa appointment
  • Prepare your documentation
  • Prepare for your interview

Maintaining F-1 Status

Maintaining your F-1 status means that you are abiding by regulations that provide you legal immigration status.

It is critical that you stay in legal status. If you fail to maintain your F-1 status, you no longer have legal immigration status and could face serious problems with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This could compromise your ability to get a US visa or enter the United States in the future. If you fail to maintain legal status, you will also be unable to receive employment authorization.

Tips to Maintain Your F-1 Status

  • Maintain a valid I-20.
  • Enroll in a full-time courseload.
  • Only work after receiving authorization to do so.
  • Ensure your address is always up to date.
  • Keep your passport up to date at all times.
  • Comply with grace periods (the period of time before you are required to leave the United States).

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services can provide you with information and advice you need to maintain your status. However, maintaining your status is your responsibility.




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International Student and Scholar Services

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  South Wing 410 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5331 •  Fax: (716) 878-3054