Most international students at Fisher College are admitted to the United States in F-1 student status. If you will be studying at Fisher in any other status, please note that the below does not apply to you.
How to Obtain an F-1 Visa
In order to obtain an F-1 visa, you will need to be accepted to Fisher College and issued a Fisher College Form I-20. To get a more detailed breakdown of tips on obtaining an F1 visa, please contact Mackenzie Cushman at email@example.com and a guide will be emailed to you.
- Form I-20
- Form 1-94 Arrival/Departure Record
- USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
F-1 VISA: This document is a multicolored stamp placed in your passport at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The visa is the "key" necessary for entering the U.S. It indicates your name, classification, the number of times you may enter the U.S. on this visa (in most cases, multiple entries - designated as M - are allowed), and the visa's expiration date. The expiration date on the visa reflects the last date that you are permitted to enter (or re-enter) the U.S. as an International Student. If the date has already passed, you will need to reapply for an F-1 student visa to be allowed back into the U.S.
Form 1-94 Arrival/Departure Record This document is a small stamp often opposite the visa page in your passport that is placed there upon arrival in the U.S. The I-94 indicates your arrival date, the visa classification, and the length of authorized stay in the U.S. For F-1 students, the length of stay is often noted as D/S which stands for "Duration of Status." D/S allows a student to stay in the U.S. as long as he or she remains in status as an F-1 student.
Status is the permission to be in the U.S. for a specific purpose for a period of time. F-1 student status is dependent on students’ engaging in full-time study. At Fisher College, undergraduate students must be enrolled in 12 credits to engage in full-time study. Full-time study also takes into consideration attendance. Students with chronic attendance issues will be considered out of status. If you have any questions about your status, please reach out to one of the DSOs or reference the page on Maintaining Student Status.
A benefit of maintaining F-1 status. Its purpose is to allow the student to gain practical experience directly related to the student's field of study. Granted by USCIS, OPT is granted based on documents submitted by applicant and the school's recommendation. Total length is 12 months, not extendible and may be used during school breaks, for part-time work while school is in session or after graduation provided the eligibility criteria are met and authorization is received. Work must be directly related to the student's area of study.
- My passport has expired. What should I do?
- How can I get a replacement for my I-20?
- Can I renew my visa without leaving the United States?
- If I decide to change my major, do I need a new I-20?
- What should I do if my visa stamp has already expired? Can I travel and re-enter as a tourist?
- When can I apply for Optional Practical Training?
- How long does it take to process Optional Practical Training?
- Can I work on campus?
Contact your embassy or consulate for instructions on applying for passport renewal. Not all countries have a consular office in Boston. You may need to contact a consulate in New York or in other parts of the U.S., or an embassy in Washington D.C. The renewal procedure may take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the policies of your government. Also your consular office may require you to provide information such as proof of your enrollment at Fisher.
When can I apply for Optional Practical Training?
You may apply as early as 90 days before the completion date on your I-20. Your application may be received by USCIS up to 60 days after the completion date on your I-20. If it is not received during this time period, it will be rejected immediately.
Can I work on campus?
Yes, you may, if you are in valid F-1 status and have the proper approval/authorization from CIPS. On campus employment is incidental to your status, but you cannot work more than 20 hours during the academic year. You may work more than 20 hours during authorized vacation periods.
Dean of International Academic Operations and Curriculum Development, DSO
Vice President of Enrollment Management, PDSO
Chief Admissions Officer
Xu (Joy) Liu
Educational Counselor for Chinese Students