You might be curious about the distinction between F-1 and F-2 visas. We’ll go through the main distinctions between these visas in this post. Before getting into the specifics, let’s quickly review the key distinctions between F-1 and F-2 visas. International students enrolled in academic programs must apply for the F-1 visa, while their dependents must apply for the F-2 visa. When studying in college, F-1 visa holders are permitted to work; F-2 visa holders are not. 

What is an F-1 Visa?

International students enrolled in an academic program at a university or college can apply for an F-1 visa. You must have been accepted by a college acknowledged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to qualify for an F-1 visa (SEVP). Also, you must have enough money saved up to pay for your tuition, living costs, and other expenses while you are a student in the US. 

The ability to work on campus while you are a student is one benefit of having an F-1 visa. You can learn a new skill, get some additional cash, and develop your language abilities by doing this. There are restrictions on the number of hours you can work, and you need the authorization to work off campus. 

The ability to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completing your education is another advantage of having an F-1 visa. OPT enables you to work in the US for 12 months in a position associated with your study area. You can be qualified for an additional 24 months of OPT if you have a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). 

What is an F-2 Visa?

Dependents of F-1 visa holders, such as spouses and unmarried children under 21, can apply for an F-2 visa. F-2 visa holders are prohibited from working in the US, on or off campus. Only part-time study is permitted, and OPT applications are not permitted. Also, various limitations exist on how long F-2 visa holders may stay in the country. If the F-1 visa holder completes their studies, changes their status, or breaks their visa rules and is forced to leave the country, they must also leave. 

In summary, the main distinction between F-1 and F-2 visas is that F-1 visas are for international students who are enrolled in academic programs and have more freedom to work and apply for OPT, whereas F-2 visas are for their dependents who are unable to work and are subject to stricter rules regarding their ability to remain in the United States. If you intend to study in the US, select the visa that best suits your requirements and abide by all laws and regulations to prevent any problems. 


Can F-2 visa holders enroll in US universities?

F-2 visa holders can enroll in part-time courses but not full-time.

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