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F1 Visa Requirements For Nigerians

A Student Visa is often required for non-US citizens who want to enrol in full-time studies in the US. Currently, there are two nonimmigrant visa types available to anyone who wants to study in the US. The F and M visas are frequent names for these nonimmigrant visas. The F Visa is used for long term studies, whereas the M Visa is most used to attend vocational training in the UK.

Application for the F1 Visa entails multiple steps, and it can be challenging to manage everything on your own without proper guidance. Immigration Advice Service has a team of experts who help Nigerians and other foreigners to obtain their F1 Visas in the most hassle-free way possible. You can call us on +23413438882 or our London number at +44 (0)333 414 9244 to speak to our legal experts. Or message us online.


Do You Wish to Study in the US but Do Not Know Which Visa to Apply For?

Our experts can help you with all kinds of US student visa applications, including the F1 visa. so get in touch with us for professional advice and assistance from our team of immigration experts. We will assist you from start to finish to ensure that your visa gets approved. You can relax and trust us to do the job for you.

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Overview of the F1 Visa For Nigerians

International students living in Nigeria who wish to pursue studies in the U.S. must apply for the F1 Visa. This visa permits them to come to the United States and complete their education.

To enter the country with the F1 U.S. Student Visa, applicants must be a full-time student at a recognised university, college, seminars, high school, primary school, or other academic institution, as well as in a programme for language study.

The programme or course of study must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate, and the awarding university must hold official U.S. government authorisation to admit international students.

Man looking through study notes, sitting in front of laptop

F1 Visa Requirements For Nigerians

You will need to fulfil the following requirements to successfully obtain an F1 Visa:

  • Have a valid passport.
  • Provide proof of the visa fee payment.
  • Possess the Form I-20 with all the necessary attachments of proof that you will be able to fund your stay and education in the United States. These can consist of your or your sponsor’s bank statement for the last 3 months, proof of prepayment of the course fee, evidence of a scholarship, etc.
  • Documents attesting to your present and past education, such as your high school transcripts, school leaving certificates, degrees, TOEFL/IELTS results, GRE/GMAT/SAT scores, etc.
  • A copy of pre-purchased health insurance for international students.

F-1 Visa Application Process For Nigerians

Acquiring an F-1 Visa from Nigeria involves five main stages that all applicants must clear.

Stage 1: Getting Accepted into a School in the United States

In this stage, you are required to apply to a qualifying school and get an acceptance letter that states the total duration of the course you plan to pursue.

It must also include other relevant information clearly stated on it, including your name, the name of the institute, the course you applied for, etc. This letter will allow you to file for the Student Visa.

Stage 2: Pay the Service Fee and Acquire I-20

You must pay a fee to register yourself in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) after being accepted. Following that, the educational institution will provide you with a Form I-20.

When you see the consular official for your F-1 Visa interview, you will deliver this form to them. In case your children or spouse is accompanying you to the US, they will also need their own separate I-20 forms.

Stage 3: Complete the F1 Visa Form

Depending on whatever U.S. embassy or consulate you are applying to, the F1 Student Visa application process may differ. If applying from Nigeria you will be required to attend the US embassy or consulate in Lagos or Abuja.

Please be aware that the visa application cost that you pay is not refundable. So, if your application is denied, you will not be able to get any refund.

You can fill out and print Form DS-160 to bring to your F1 Visa interview using the online visa application.

Stage 4: Book and Attend F1 Visa Interview

In this step, you will need to book your interview appointment at the nearby consulate or embassy, which will be in Lagos or Abuja.

It is important to remember that the waiting period for your visa appointment can be quite long.

Therefore, it is advisable to always apply a few months before the date you wish to travel. Ideally, all students must begin their application process at least 120 days ahead of their course commencement date.

You can get more information related to the ideal time frame to apply for an F1 Visa by discussing your case with legal advisors at IAS. You can use the online chat feature to leave a message or call us on XXX or on +44 (0) 3316300929.

Once you get the date and time for your interview, you will need to take a set of the following documents with you:

  • Current passport
  • A recent and fit-to-criteria passport picture
  • Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • A Nonimmigrant (F1) Certificate of Eligibility for Students (Form 1-20)
  • The payment receipt for the application fee

You might also need to present some additional documents such as your previous transcripts, degrees, CV, documents showing your ability to cover your expenses in the US, etc.

Stage 5: Get the F1 US Student Visa Approval

If you have successfully cleared stages one through four, you will most likely be called to collect your passport with the stamped F1 Student Visa for the US.

If you’re a Nigerian who wants to study in the US but not sure how to go about it, speak to our experts in immigration law.

Do I Qualify to Apply For an F1 US Student Visa?

In order to be eligible for the F1 Student Visa, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Get accepted to a Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school/ college/ educational institute in the US
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Provide sufficient that you have strong ties to your home country and plan to return to your home as soon as your education ends
  • Submit proof of sufficient funds to support your stay throughout the duration of your education, or provide proof of a scholarship that will cover your expenses for you
  • You will need to have English proficiency and possess documents to prove it too.

The Validity of an F1 Visa

The validity of the F1 Visa is usually equivalent to the total duration of your course, or less. For example, if your course is 4 years long, you might get an F1 Visa with a validity of 1 year, which can be renewed each year for a total of 4 years (i.e the complete duration of the course).

All students will only be allowed to enter the US only 30 days prior to the commencement of their study program and no earlier than that.

Extending Your Stay in the US

International students in the country on F visas must leave the country within a time frame of 60 days of their program’s conclusion date, which includes any authorised practical training, as shown on Form I-20.

Through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, international students can ask for an extension. You’ll lose your status if you don’t leave the United States on time.

Individuals who are not in compliance with the law automatically have their visas revoked. You can also lose your ability to obtain visas in the future if you don’t leave the US on time.

Man in suit jacket holding folder

We can offer a bespoke service that considers all aspects of your personal situation and help realise your dream of studying abroad.

How Can IAS Help?

Legal advisors at IAS are highly qualified and specially trained to deal with US Visa applications. We have helped hundreds of Nigerian students embark on their education journey in the US by guiding them at each step of the way.

Since an F1 Visa application involves so many steps, you can take help from our experts to begin your education journey in the US. You can contact us via online chat, call us on +23413438882, or our London office number at +44 (0) 3316300929.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

An aspiring nonimmigrant student has to have Form I-20, an official document from the U.S. Government provided by a recognised institution, if they want to get an F-1 or M-1 visa.

If you obtained an I-20 after making your appointment, you can share it with the American consulate official during the interview.

F visa holders who are enrolled full-time may work a maximum of twenty hours per week on campus only. With permission from USCIS, a candidate may apply for work outside campus after the first year of holding a student status.

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