What is the difference between F-1 students and “Commuter Students” on F-3 visa?

F-3 visa is issued to “Commuter Students” from Canada and Mexico. They can attend school part-time or full-time, as long as they don’t reside in the United States.

Differences between F-1 and F-3 students:

  • They cannot reside in the United States.
  • F-3 students are subject to SEVIS requirements. However they cannot obtain a F-2 dependent visa for spouse and children, unlike F-1.
  • Unlike F-1, F-3 students are not allowed to work on campus. They are still eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (“CPT”) and Optional Practical Training (“OPT”), and may do so only after graduation.
  • F-3 students are given a certain date on their I-94, unlike the F-1 students who have a duration of stay on visa.
  • F-3 full-time students will be required to take at least 12 undergraduate credit hours and 9 graduate credit hours.
  • F-3 part-time will be required to take at least 6 undergraduate credit hours and 3 graduate credit hours.

The rest of the requirements and regulations are the same as for the F1.