Special Rules for Certain Border Commuter Students

In addition to the F-1 and F-2 visas, there is also a visa subcategory that applies to commuter students who wish to study in the U.S. The F-3 visa is designated to Canadian and Mexican citizens who wish to come to the United States to study at a community/junior college, vocational, or other non-academic institution that is located within 75 miles of a U.S. land border, as long as they do not reside in the U.S. The student must maintain an actual residence and place of abode in his/her country of nationality, and seek admission into the United States at a land border port-of-entry (although, this rule does not apply to a national of Canada or Mexico who is: (1) residing in the United States as an M-1 student who is attending an approved school, or (B) enrolled in a full course of study as defined.

Furthermore, the border commuter student must be enrolled in a full course of study at the school that leads to the attainment of a specific educational or vocational objective, albeit on a part-time basis. A designated school official at the school may authorize an eligible border commuter student to enroll in a course load below full-time, provided that the reduced course load is consistent with the border commuter student’s approved course of study.

Moreover, an F-1 border commuter student is not permitted to accept any employment in connection with his/her F-1 status, except for instances of curricular practical training or optional practical training.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations: 8 CFR § 214.2(m)(19)(i)

(Updated 10/12/2012 by AD)

For more information about F-1 visas, please click on one of the following links: