About F-1 Students

Students wishing to study in the U.S. may consider applying for an F-1 student visa. The preparation process to collect required documentation for the visa and the necessary documents for enrollment at Language Systems International may take some time. Students will need to plan their studies at Language Systems International as well their interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate accordingly.

Getting your F-1 Visa

You must apply at the US embassy or consulate office in your country. While the application process varies from country to country, a few things are generally the same:

First you must have an I-20 form to apply for an F-1 visa. The I-20 indicates that you have been accepted for study at Language Systems International as well as the start date of your program.

Second, you will need various forms from the embassy. You can usually obtain these forms on-line at the embassy's website, or by visiting the embassy directly. Most embassies make the forms available in your country's language; however, the answers must usually be written in English.

Third, you will need proof of your financial resources. If you are an LSI student, when you apply for the I-20, our online application form will tell you the MINIMUM monetary amount you need to show. Of course, the more you can show the better. Your proof can take the form of a statement from your bank or your parents' bank that is less than 30 days old. If you are using bank statements from someone outside of your immediate family, you should also obtain a notarized or certified document from that person and be ready to answer why that person is willing to support you.

Expiration Date

Your F-1 visa will have both an Issue Date and Expiration Date. However, the most important dates are on your I-20. The program start date on your I-20 determines when you are to start classes and the program end date on your I-20 states when your program is set to end.

The expiration date on your F-1 visa is NOT the date you must return to your country. Having an F-1 visa allows you to travel to the United States and then ask permission to enter the U.S. upon arriving at the airport. Once you are in, the expiration date does not matter, as long as you maintain your current immigrant status which is indicated on your I-94 as well as your I-20 if you are a student.

If you are an F-1 student and leave the United States without an F-1 visa or have an expired F-1 visa, then you will not be able to enter the U.S. in F-1 status. You must obtain a valid F-1 visa and hold a valid I-20 in order to enter the U.S. in F-1 status.

The required documentation for enrollment is described in the application process. Students can also learn more about student visas by visiting the Travel.State.Gov official site.

last update: February 2016


Ever since I came to LSI, my English has improved a lot in the ESL Program. I learned a lot from my teachers; my Reading, Speaking and Grammar classes helped me to speak English properly. In addition to my development in the ESL program, the conversation class highly contributed to my growth. Also, the dance classes and outside-the-classroom activities, such as making a movie, beach parties, and sightseeing, contributed to my English development, and also helped me gain many new friends from different countries. I will never forget my 6 months in Los Angeles at LSI
Kubra 04/27/2013 (Turkey)
Los Angeles

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