Full-Time Academic Study or Teach in the United States with F-1 Visa
Each year there are more the 1 million F, M and J non-immigrants come to the United States for education and cultural exchange. The F-1 Visa is a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners who want to pursue a full program of study here in the United States.
All F-1 students must maintain a full load course of study while attending the school. In order to receive an F-1 Visa you must first apply at your school of choice and receive a form I-20 in order to complete the F-1 Visa application process. In addition you must be able to support yourself while attending school here in the United States. The F category of visa is for academic student and not vocational students. If you are seeking to participate in an exchange program you may be eligible for the J-1 Visa category for exchange visitors. Click here for more on J-1 Visa.
F-1 Visas are only issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the U.S. In order to acquire a F-1 visa you will need to make an appointment with a visa official at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You are required to pay the U.S. government SEVIS fee to make this appointment. Be sure to bring your application materials, admission offer from the school selected, passport and immigration documents issued by the university to your appointment. It is in your best interest to receive this visa as soon as possible after your admission. For more information about the F-1 Visa program and other visa categories please refer to the links provided below.
Following List Needs an F Visa to Attend
- University or College
- High School
- Private Elementary School
- Another academic institution, including a language training program
Important Web Links
- U.S. Embassy & Consulate Website
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- U.S. Department of State U.S. Visas
- Student and Exchange Visitor Program
- J-1 Visa Program Website
If you are planning to be a vocational student then you will want to apply for the M Category of Visa.
About the F-2 Visa
The F-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21). There is no SEVIS fee payment required but your school must issue them an individual Form I-20, which is required to apply for their visas. You will be required to provide a copy of your F-1 or M-1 visa and provide proof of the relationship. F-2 visa holders are not eligible for employment authorization and may not engage in full-time courses of study.
Health Insurance Requirement
Currently there are no requirements set by the U.S. State Department for F-1 Visa holders. However in almost every case the University or School that you will be attending will have a minimal requirement for health insurance. In most cases you can sign a waiver and obtain your own health insurance coverage as long as it meets or exceeds the school minimum requirements. This is where we come in. There are many “Student” plans being sold throughout the United States. The health care system here in the United States is complicated and expensive. The plans we sell offer comprehensive coverage throughout the U.S. and they will also cover you when traveling home or abroad. Most plans offered by the different Universities and Colleges are expensive and offer limited benefits. Be sure to ask questions before you purchase a plan.
J-1 Visa Program DOES HAVE Minimal Health Insurance Requirements
Comprehensive Medicare Insurance Minimum Requirements – Starting May 15, 2015
The J1 & J2 visa holder insurance coverage must provide the following minimum coverage:
- Minimum medical benefit of $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
- Deductible that does not exceed $500 per accident or illness;
- Minimum repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,500;
- Minimum medical evacuation expenses in the amount of $50,000; and
- Co-insurance paid by J1 not to exceed 25% of covered benefits per accident or illness.
Health Insurance policies:
- May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards; and
- Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for the perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which you participate.
Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the J insurance requirements must at minimum be:
Underwritten by an insurance corporation having:
- An A.M. Best rating of “A-“ or above; or
- A McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-“ or above; or
- A Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; or
- A Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A-“ or above; or
- A Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or
- Be backed by the full faith and credit of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
- Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
- Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medial Plan as determined by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
GeoBlue Navigator for Students & Faculty
The Preferred International Health Insurance for Students holding an F1 Visa is the GeoBlue Navigator plan. The GeoBlue Navigator health plan meets the needs of International Students and Faculty by offering comprehensive worldwide benefits – inside and outside the U.S. – without the typical limits, eligibility conditions and benefits exclusions common among traditional plans. The GeoBlue Navigator is Underwritten by 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. 4 Ever Life is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.