...What is an F-1 student?
An F-1 student is a non-immigrant who is pursuing a full course of study toward a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the U.S. that has been designated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer such courses. Once the educational or professional objective has been attained, the F-1 student is expected by the U.S. government to return to his or her residence abroad.
An F-1 student must meet the following requirements:
have a residence in a foreign country .
be a bona fide student pursuing a full course of study
not be employed without proper authorization
Accel Academy is authorized by Federal law to enroll foreign students.
Our ESL and TOEFL classes meet the requirements for full-time study and offers appropriate curricula as a language school.
...How do I get an F-1 visa from a U.S. consular office?
An application for an F-1 visa must include the following items:
Properly completed Form I-20 .
Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee
Evidence of financial ability to meet expenses as listed on I-20
Evidence of English ability sufficient for course of study
Evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of studies
Passport valid for at least six months
Form DS-156 "Nonimmigrant Visa Application"
Form DS-157, if applicable
Form DS-158
Machine Readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee
Visa reciprocity fee, if applicable
...How long does it take to receive an F-1 visa?
From initial contact with a school, you should allow a minimum of four weeks for this process. It could take up to eight weeks or longer if your paperwork is incomplete. A visa will not be issued more than one month before the Term Start Date listed on your Form I-20.
...What is F-2 status?
F-2 status is given to the spouse and minor children of an F-1 student. F-2 visa holders also have certain restrictions on employment and must meet certain requirements.
...What is an I-20?
The I-20 Certificate of Eligibility is a government form used in connection with many F-1 visa procedures. It is a document issued by an authorized school that states a student is eligible to attend that school. It contains basic student and dependents information, school information, and program and financial information. The Form I-20 is signed by the DSO and by the student to acknowledge understanding. Prior to January 2003, an authorized school would issue this form. As of January 2003, this procedure is done through SEVIS.
...What is Form I-94?
This is the "Arrival/Departure Form" for international travelers. Upon arrival in the U.S., the immigration officer issues the traveler the departure portion of Form I-94 marked with date, place of entry, the alien's status (F-1 for students), a unique 11-digit admission number, and date of expiration of period of admission. F-1 visa holders will not have a specific date here. Rather they will receive the designation of D/S, which means the I-94 is valid as long as the student maintains student status.
...What are the requirements to get and maintain a Form I-20?
You must complete a written application to the school you plan to attend.
You must have English proficiency. This is NOT required to be issued a Form I-20 by Accel Academy because language acquisition is the purpose of enrollment.
You must submit financial records showing that you have the resources adequate to meet
expenses during your term of study.
You must maintain a full course of study, defined as a minimum of 18 hours of classroom study per week during the academic term. Accel Academy's ESL and TOEFL Prep classes meet these requirements.
...Who can help me get an I-20?
All authorized schools have Designated School Officials (DSO) who will issue and sign I-20 Forms, enter and update student information in SEVIS, and assist in other school -related immigration matters.
...What are MY responsibilities as an F-1 student?
You must sign the Student Certification on Form I-20 to indicate that you have read and understood the terms and conditions of F-1 status.
You must pursue a full course of study at the school that issues your Form I-20. Maintaining a "full course of study" requires consistent student attendance and reasonable academic progress. Dropping below a full course load requires special permission.
You must follow proper procedures to change, extend, or end your course of study, or to transfer schools.
You may engage in employment only if specifically authorized.
You must maintain your personal and academic records, including your Form I-20, and update your DSO of changes to your personal information.
...\What is SEVIS?
The Student Exchange Visitor Information System is the computerized system used by the
Department of Justice to track non-immigrant foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the U.S.
Your Form I-20 will be generated by this system through an authorized school, such as Accel Academy. SEVIS also tracks personal student and dependent information, academic activity and related authorizations.
...\Can I transfer from another school?
Students that currently hold F-1 status with a Form I-20 from another SEVIS-approved
academic institution can transfer to Accel Academy by completing the requirements listed in the Application section, and the "Transfer Verification Form" by the school currently attended.
...\Can I work as an F-1 student?
In order to maintain valid F-1 status, a student must not work in the U.S. unless the employment is specifically authorized. Authorized employment includes limited on-campus work at the school the student is attending, certain practical training, or work sponsored by approved international organizations. Employment authorization may also be granted because of severe economic hardship.

Individuals in F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances.
Evidence of ability to meet financial costs of study and living is required prior to issuance of a Form I-20 and F-1 visa.
...\May I travel as an F-1 student?
F-1 students may travel internationally for a period of five months or less by completing page three of their Form I-20, with approval and signature of a DSO from their school and valid passport identification. Upon re-entry, students must show their properly endorsed Form I-20 and valid passport with valid F-1 visa.