What is considered a full course of study under the F-1 visa requirements?

In order to qualify for an F-1 student visa, you must enrolled in a full course of study and be a full-time student. But what exactly does this mean? 

Whether you are a full-time student or a part-time student is a distinction made by the school that you are attending. However, you can follow some general guidelines to determine whether or not you are studying full time. For example, most full-time students are working toward a specific degree or objective, such as: 

  • An Associate's degree
  • A Bachelor's degree
  • A Master's degree
  • A doctorate 

Attending a primary school or secondary school also constitutes full-time study, as you are working toward a diploma and graduation. 

Generally, full-time study at an undergraduate program involves taking 12 credits per semester. Full-time study at the graduate level usually requires 9 credits per semester. However, these requirements may differ, depending on the degree and the learning institution. 

It is important to understand that full-time study still involves and allows regular vacations and breaks, such as summer vacation and winter vacation. However, your full-time study status may be in jeopardy if you miss classes or go on personal vacations.