F-1 Students

A panorama of the north side of campus

F-1 General Information

An F-1 nonimmigrant visa and F-1 student status may be granted to an individual who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study at an academic or language institution that is authorized by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to admit and enroll international students.

F-1 is the most commonly used visa by students who come to the United States to pursue full-time graduate or undergraduate study.

When applying for an F-1 visa, the individual must prove to a U.S. consular official at a U.S. embassy/consulate office abroad that s/he wishes to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of study and that s/he has a permanent residence in a foreign country that s/he has no intention of abandoning.

Prospective University of Nevada, Reno students will usually receive a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status, from the Office of International Students and Scholars. Immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) of F-1 students may apply for an F-2 visa if they will be accompanying the F-1 student in the U.S. during his/her studies.

Dependents in F-2 status are not allowed to work in the United States under any circumstances.

Request for Form I-20

After arriving in the U.S. students may need to update their I-20. The following students need to request a change of their I-20 form:

  • Students who change their major or minor. Must be an official change from the new UNR department and Admissions and Records first
  • Students who are extending the number of years needed to graduate. Can only extend up to 1 year at a time
  • Students who change their funding source(s)
  • Students who are applying for employment authorization
  • Students who are changing from F-2, B-2, or other visas to F-1
  • Students who have lost or damaged their I-20
  • Students who want to request an I-20 for family members (F-2 visa) to enter the U.S.
  • Students who add to their undergraduate or graduate program of study
  • Students who need to apply for reinstatement

Special Note: Graduate Students who want to change their degree program must completely reapply to the new department through the Graduate School. Acceptance into the new program is not guaranteed.

The request for a new Form I-20 is available online or at the OISS. Request a new I-20 by completing the Student I-20/DS-2019 Request Form. Students who are adding new family members (dependents) need to complete the family member section. If the dependent(s) were born in the U.S., they do not need to be added to the Form I-20. When completed, please return the form to OISS. In some cases an appointment with the International Student Advisor may have to be made. For questions or an appointment, please call OISS at (775) 784-6874.