Most international students at Shepherd are in F-1 visa classification.
An F-1 student is a nonimmigrant who is pursuing a “full course of study” to achieve a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the United States that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer courses of study to such students, and has been enrolled in SEVIS (the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Once the educational or professional objectives have been attained, the F-1 student is expected by the US government to return to his or her residence abroad.
A student acquires F-1 status using Form I-20, issued by a DHS-approved school through SEVIS. Status is acquired in one of two ways:
- if the student is abroad, by entering the United States with the I-20 and an F-1 visa obtained at a US consulate (although citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement); or
- if the student is already in the United States, by sending the I-20 to USCIS with an application for change of non-immigrant status. Normally, this will not require the student to depart and re-enter the U.S.
The spouse and dependent children of an F-1 student hold F-2 visa status.
The following offer additional information about the F-1 status and its responsibilities and benefits. If you have questions after reviewing this information, please see International Student Affairs.