US Immigration News

F-1 Visas: International Students Must Know Before Traveling to the US

2 minute read
"As the Covid-19 situation gets less severe with the rollout of vaccination drives all over the world, many rules surrounding the F-1 Visa are changing. Potential international students who want to study further in the United States must know what’s waiting for them."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 20, 2021
international students holding american flags my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

As the Covid-19 situation gets less severe with the rollout of vaccination drives all over the world, many rules surrounding the F-1 Visa are changing. Potential international students who want to study further in the United States must know what’s waiting for them. 

What Do You Need to Know About F-1 Visas?

The main thing that all international students especially during this pandemic are that they can not engage in 100% online learning. Last year, certain temporary modifications and exemptions were introduced by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) for nonimmigrant students taking online classes for fall 2020 due to the pandemic. 

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that the SEVP will continue to abide by these guidelines for the 2021-22 academic year. The guidelines restrict the F-1 Student Visa and the M-1 Visa - Vocational or Technical Studies for students to take their full course load online and remain in the US. 

Meaning that eligible F-1 students may take only 1 out 3 credit hours online. Also, F-1 students who have adopted a hybrid model of attending both online and offline classes will be allowed to take more than 1 out 3 credit hours online. 

These guidelines also prevent initial or new F-1 nonimmigrant students enrolled in a program of study on March 9, 2020, to enter the US for the 2021-22 academic year if 100% of their study program will be conducted online.

What Are the Alternative for International Students?

Many international students have been unable to obtain an F-1 Visa as many US embassies and consulates failed to resume their operations due to the ongoing pandemic. The visa processing services were also greatly affected as there are “large visa backlogs” in many embassies and consulates as many are operating at a partial capacity.

Many international students are facing obstacles in the form of lack of access to World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccines and the various border restrictions imposed both domestically and internationally.

Therefore, the only option that remains for many international students is to start their study programs online from their home country. Alternatively, if the student is enrolled in a university that offers a twin program in a local institution, then they can complete a portion of their study program domestically before transferring to the US to complete their degree. 

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
US Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine