F-1 Visa Students
Immigration Basics for Academic Departments
Most international students at FSU are in the U.S. in F-1 immigration status. The F-1 immigration category is the most basic and widely used U.S. student visa category. F-1 status is monitored by the federal government through an electronic database called Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or SEVIS. Since students in F-1 status are monitored, both the students and the university have reporting obligations to the government as dictated by federal law. The F-1 section of the CGE web page has been designed to help inform you of some basic information regarding F-1 status.
Please see the 2011 Department F-1 Immigration Handbook for detailed information, including Frequently Asked Questions about F-1 academic advising, enrollment, travel, employment, Social Security, and graduation.
What is an F-1 student?
An F-1 status holder is a non-immigrant allowed to remain in the United States for as long as he or she is:
- A full-time student making satisfactory progress toward a degree at the school he or she is approved to attend, or
- A student in a period of post graduation practical training that is directly related to his or her field of study and has been authorized by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is SEVIS?
SEVIS is the acronym for Student and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System which is run by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Office (SEVP) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is a web-based information system which allows schools certified by the Department of Homeland Security to issue F-1 or J-1 forms to foreign students applying for or currently in F-1 or J-1 status. SEVIS was created primarily for educational institutions to collect and report certain biographic and program information to the DHS within certain timeframes as mandated by federal law.
F-1 Student Important Documents
These are documents that you may encounter when dealing with F-1 students.
- F-1 Visa: This is the sticker in a student's passport, used only for entry purposes.
- I-94: This is the small white card completed at the Port of Entry, usually stapled into the passport. It should be stamped and marked "F-1" "D/S"
- I-20: This is the 3-page document issued by the Center for Global Engagement.
- EAD Card- An employment authorization card issued for F-1 students working on post-completion practical training