The F-1 classification is for foreign-born academic students studying in the United States.
To obtain an F-1 Student Visa while living abroad, you must:
Having an approved visa does not mean you will be allowed to enter the United States. A visa allows you to travel to a United States port of entry and request permission to enter. When you arrive at a United States port of entry, an official from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will grant or deny your admission into the Untied States. If you are granted admission, the CBP official will mark the length of your stay on your Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Card, as D/S for "duration of status." This means that you may remain in the United States as long as you continue your course of study.
To qualify for an F-1 visa, you must:
The consular officer will verify your Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status and check to see that your data has been entered into the SEVIS system. If the school has not entered your data into the SEVIS system, the consular officer will deny your request for an F-1 visa.
The consular officer may not issue your F-1 visa more than 120 days before your course of study starts. You may not enter the United States more than 30 days before your course of study starts.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to accompany F-1 student visa holders on F-2 status. An F-2 visa holder may stay in the U.S. as long as the F-1 student visa holder remains in valid status. An F-2 visa holder may not work in the U.S.
Parents, fiancés, friends, and other relatives of an F-1 student must apply for B-2 visitor visa.