F-1 Students

Learn about F-1 status

If you are like most international students at Indiana University, you will begin your studies with F-1 status. It is the most common status for full-time international students in the United States.

You will know to apply for an F-1 visa if we send you an I-20 form. If we send you a DS-2019 form, you should apply for a J-1 visa instead.

F-1 visa basics

If you have F-1 status, your tuition money can come from any source—your parents, your government, a corporate sponsor, or a scholarship or loan.

If you are an IU Bloomington student, you can work on campus without prior authorization. However, there are restrictions. Visit the F-1 Employment section for more information.

If you want to work on any other IU campus, call us at 812-855-9086 and make an appointment with an international student advisor to discuss your options.

You may gain permission to work off campus if the job is directly related to your field of study, or in rare cases, because of severe economic hardship. However, you must first get authorization from either OIS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Learn more about your off-campus employment options

If you have a spouse or unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21, they can enter the United States using an F-2 visa. However, they will not be able to study full time at the postsecondary level or to work.

As an F-1 student, you have a number of options, and can even get a job using Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Learn more about your post-completion choices

Maintaining your status

You will need to pay close attention to all rules and regulations throughout your time at IU. If you do not, you could fall out of status. When that happens, you can find yourself facing serious consequences—and may even be forced to leave the United States.

But do not worry! OIS is here to help you stay in status. Learn the basics.