The F-1 student visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign students to enter into the U.S. to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories, academic high schools, and institutes with language training programs. You must be enrolled in a program or a course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
To qualify for an F-1 visa, you must prove that you have sufficient funds to complete your education, be coming to attend a full course of study by a school approved by the USCIS, have Form I-20A-B issued by your school. While on an F-1 visa, the visa holder is permitted to transfer from one school to another or switch academic programs by notifying the change to the USCIS, legally work part-time on campus, seek off-campus employment if economically necessary or of it involves practical training, travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. until the completion of your studies, and bring your dependents on F-2 visa. However, you may not apply for a green card while holding this status.
The period of stay authorized in an F-1 status is typically as long as necessary to complete the course of study, which is indicated on the Form I-20. An extension of stay is permitted. Change of status is also possible, typically to an H-1B, M-1 or M-3.