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F-1 Student Visa

SimVisa’s mission is to facilitate the process of obtaining an F-1 student visa and ensure that our clients can realize their educational aspirations in the United States confidently and with ease.

Our dedicated services include:

  • A simplified application process: We streamline the of applying for an F-1 visa to make it as straightforward and accessible as possible;
  • Experienced immigration lawyers: Our team of seasoned immigration attorneys provides reliable guidance at every step, ensuring a smooth journey from application to approval;
  • Adaptable fee structures: We offer flexible pricing options designed to meet your individual needs and circumstances;
  • All-inclusive support: Our commitment extends beyond paperwork; we provide comprehensive assistance throughout your visa journey.

Work with a qualified lawyer from SimVisa today to learn more.

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Chicago Immigration Law Firm with Digital Solutions
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Immigration Law


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    With SimVisa, you have the option of receiving full-service legal support - for every aspect of your case - with immigration lawyers from a top-quality immigration law firm.

    • Step 1: Initial Consultation with SimVisa

    • Step 2: SimVisa Fills Out Your Immigration Applications

    • Step 3: SimVisa Prepares Application Package with Evidence

    • Step 4: A SimVisa Attorney Reviews Your Application Package

    • Step 5: SimVisa Submits an Application to USCIS For You

    • Step 6: SImVisa Handles All Communications with USCIS

    • Step 7: SimVisa Monitors Your Case From Start To Finish

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    Have you started your application and then gotten confused? Are you worried you might make a mistake or leave out important supporting documents? SimVisa is the solution. We understand you might want to save on lawyer fees and file on your own. You can relax because SimVisa will prepare your application under the supervision of an immigration attorney. You will even get a one hour video conference with an immigration attorney after SimVisa prepares your forms.

    • Step 1: SimVisa collected information and documents from you through our online portal

    • Step 2: Simvisa fills out your forms and prepares your supporting documents

    • Step 3: A SimVisa immigration attorney goes over your filled-out application and supporting documents with you (1-hour video consultation)

    • Step 4: Simvisa finalizes your packet with attorney approval

    • Step 5: We deliver your packet to your door

    • Step 6: You file with USCIS

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All You Need to Know

Knowledgeable F-1 Student Visa Lawyers

SimVisa is a leading immigration law firm that proudly serves clients nationwide. Our team of experienced student visa attorneys is focused on guiding individuals through the complexities of U.S. immigration law, with a particular emphasis on the F-1 student visa.

We understand the many nuances of student immigration and are committed to providing tailored strategies for each student's specific situation. Whether you’re an international student looking to enroll in a prestigious U.S. university or you’re helping a loved one in another country seek new educational opportunities, SimVisa is here to make things easier.

Our lawyers are passionate advocates for learning and cultural exchange. We believe in helping students turn their American academic dreams into reality. When you work with SimVisa, you get more than just legal assistance — you get a dedicated partner who wants to see you go places.

What Is an F-1 Student Visa?

What Is an F-1 Student Visa?

The F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa specifically intended for international students who wish to pursue academic studies in the United States.

This visa category is ideal for those enrolled in programs that promise a degree, diploma, or certificate from a U.S. institution, such as those offered by universities, colleges, high schools, private elementary schools, seminaries, conservatories, and language training programs.

F-1 visas allow foreign students to study and live in the U.S. while maintaining their legal status.

Key features of the visa include the ability to do the following:

  • Live and work on campus;
  • Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for work experience in your field of study;
  • Transfer schools or programs under specific conditions.

Some of the educational institutions you may attend with an F-1 visa include:

  • Accredited universities and colleges;
  • Community colleges;
  • Language schools;
  • Vocational and technical schools;
  • Graduate and professional schools;
  • Seminaries and theological institutions.

Along with enabling you to pursue an education in the United States, an F-1 visa can be an important first step on the path to citizenship.

Who Is Eligible for an F-1 Student Visa?

Eligibility for an F-1 visa hinges on several essential criteria:

  1. Acceptance at an approved institution: Applicants must secure admission to an educational institution certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP);
  2. Full-time student status: Candidates must enroll as full-time students in an academic educational program;
  3. Proficiency in english: Applicants must demonstrate basic proficiency in English or be enrolled in courses meant to help them learn the language;
  4. Sufficient financial support: Students must provide evidence of adequate funds to cover their tuition and living expenses for the duration of their study period;
  5. Ties to home country: Applicants must show strong ties to their home country to prove their intent to return upon completion of their studies;
  6. Valid passport: A passport valid for travel to the United States is required.

Fulfilling these criteria is crucial for securing an F-1 student visa and paving the way for a rewarding educational experience in the U.S.

The F-1 Visa Application Process

The F-1 Visa Application Process

Here’s an overview of the primary steps involved in applying for an F-1 visa.

Step 1: Secure Admission to a SEVP-Approved Institution

Before applying for an F-1 visa, you must be enrolled at a SEVP-approved institution. This could be a university, college, language school, or vocational program. Make sure you get an official Form I-20 from your institution, as you’ll need it for your visa application.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS Fee

The U.S. government requires all F-1 visa applicants to pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee. You can make this payment online through the SEVIS website. Don’t forget to keep your receipt as proof of payment.

Step 3: Complete the DS-160 Form

Next, you’ll need to fill out Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application. After completing the form, you’ll be routed to a DS-160 confirmation page with a barcode. Print this page and save it for your records.

Step 4: Pay the Visa Application Fee

Step 4: Pay the Visa Application Fee

After completing Form DS-160, you must pay the non-refundable visa application fee, which varies depending on your home country. You can pay this fee online or at a designated payment location. Keep your receipt as proof of payment.

Step 5: Schedule a Visa Interview

Visit the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to schedule a visa interview appointment. Be prepared to provide your DS-160 barcode number, application fee receipt, and SEVIS fee receipt when scheduling your interview.

Step 6: Attend Your Visa Interview

On the scheduled date, attend your visa interview at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate. 

Make it a point to bring all required documents, including your Form I-20, DS-160 confirmation page, application fee receipt, SEVIS fee receipt, passport, and any additional documentation requested by the consular officer. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your educational plans and intentions to return to your home country.

Step 7: Await a Decision

Step 7: Await a Decision

Following your interview, a consular officer will make a decision regarding your F-1 visa application. It may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to process your application. If you’re approved, a consular officer will provide you with a visa stamp for your passport.

Step 8: Travel to the U.S.

Once you have your F-1 visa, you’re ready to travel to the United States. If possible, arrive well before your program start date and bring all essential documents with you, including your Form I-20.

Step 9: Maintain Your F-1 Status

It's vital to maintain your F-1 student status by attending classes, making academic progress, and complying with the relevant regulations outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Secure Your Academic Future

Contact SimVisa to get dependable legal guidance and personalized support as you complete your F-1 visa application.

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Reasons Your F-1 Visa Might Be Rejected

An F-1 student visa application could be rejected for various reasons. Here are some of the most common:

  • Weak ties to home country: U.S. immigration authorities need assurance that you'll return home after studies; lack of strong ties like family, employment, or property ownership can raise concerns;
  • Incomplete or inaccurate documentation: Errors, inconsistencies, or missing documents can lead to rejection, so it’s crucial to make sure you have complete and accurate forms, supporting documents, and financial proof;
  • Financial insufficiency: You must prove that you can cover tuition and living costs, as insufficient financial documentation or unclear sponsorship can lead to rejection;
  • Poor visa interview: Inability to explain your study plans, demonstrate your intent to return home, or answer certain questions could cause officials to doubt you;
  • Security or background concerns: Criminal history, security risks, watchlist status, and prior visa violations can all negatively impact your application;
  • Ineligibility: Past visa or immigration violations can make you ineligible for an F-1 visa;
  • Misrepresentation: Providing false information is a serious offense and can lead to rejection and other penalties;
  • Health issues: Severe health issues that aren’t covered by approved and adequate insurance can be grounds for denial;
  • Major visa violations: Prior immigration violations like overstaying a visa can hurt your chances of being approved for an F-1 visa;
  • Geopolitical factors: In rare cases, the choice between approval and denial may be influenced by geopolitical tensions or government policies related to your home country.

If you’re worried about your F-1 student visa application being denied, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer from SimVisa can review your documentation to determine the strength of your bid.

What to Expect at Your F-1 Student Visa Interview

Your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate will follow a structured format designed to help officials determine your eligibility. This interview is typically conducted in person and lasts around five to 10 minutes.

Make sure you bring all the required documents, including your Form I-20, DS-160 confirmation page, visa fee receipt, SEVIS fee receipt, passport, and academic records. Also, be ready to show proof of your intent to return to your home country.

The consular officer will ask about your study plans, your chosen institution, and your course of study. Do your best to provide honest, concise responses.

Some points you may be asked to clarify include:

  • Your financial capability: Be prepared to discuss how you plan to cover your educational expenses, including tuition and general living costs;
  • Your intent to return: You may be asked about your intent to return to your home country after completing your studies;
  • Your proficiency in english: Expect to be addressed in English as a way of assessing your language skills.

Some time after the interview, the consular officer will make a decision about your visa application. If it’s approved, they’ll provide further instructions on how to receive your visa.

How SimVisa Can Help with F-1 Visas

How SimVisa Can Help with F-1 Visas

SimVisa proudly assists international students with obtaining F-1 visas to study in the United States. Our services include:

  1. Personalized guidance: Our immigration attorneys offer clear, detailed advice on each step of the F-1 visa application process;
  2. Documentation aid: We’ll compile and organize all essential documents, ensuring that your application is comprehensive and accurate;
  3. Interview preparation: Our legal professionals will prepare you for your visa interview with practice sessions and tips intended to boost your confidence;
  4. Ongoing support: From the initial application review to post-interview follow-ups, we offer continual support and updates on key immigration regulations;
  5. Post-approval advisory: Even after you obtain your visa, we’ll continue advising you on how to maintain your student status and explore further opportunities in the U.S.

When you work with SimVisa, you're partnering with a dedicated team committed to your educational success in the U.S.

SohYoon Atac
Co-founder of SimVisa with over 17 years of experience in immigration law.


  • Juris Doctorate - Chicago Kent College of Law
  • Bachelor's Degree - The University of Chicago
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Why Choose SimVisa’s Student Visa Lawyers?

The following are just a few of the many advantages our attorneys offer:

  • Unmatched knowledge of immigration law: SimVisa's seasoned immigration lawyers are unique in their deep understanding of U.S. immigration law;
  • Personalized guidance: We offer strategies tailored to your unique circumstances to enhance your application's chances of success;
  • End-to-end support: From document preparation to interview coaching, we make the process of applying for a visa simple and stress-free;
  • Proven success: Our track record speaks to our commitment to helping students achieve their educational dreams;
  • A client-centric approach: Because you’re more than just a case number to us, we’ll work tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome for your situation.

Speak with a member of our team today to learn more about how we can be of assistance to you.

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Can I work on an F-1 Student Visa?

F-1 visa holders can work on-campus part-time during the academic year and full-time during designated breaks. Off-campus employment is generally restricted, except for Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training (CPT) under certain conditions.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an F-1 Visa?

Typically, you’ll be permitted to remain in the U.S. for the duration of your program, including any authorized Optional Practical Training period, plus a grace period of 60 days after completion.

Can I apply for a Green Card while I have an F-1 Visa?

It’s possible to explore options for changing your immigration status to a green card holder while on an F-1 visa. However, doing so involves going through a separate application process, such as employment-based or family-based immigration. SimVisa can help with your green card transition needs.

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Take Your Education to New Heights with an F-1 Student Visa

Ready to secure your F-1 visa? Connect with SimVisa today to make sure the process goes smoothly and set yourself up for future success.

If you are ready to start your journey toward permanent residency, fill out the following form and call today.