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This is the Student Visa. It allows you to come to the U.S. to study at a wide variety of educational institutions ranging from large Universities to community colleges to specialized institutions such as cooking schools. This visa can also be used for you to come to the U.S. to study English.
F-1 nonimmigrant student (F-1 student) means an alien who has an F-1 visa. USCIS grants such a visa to an alien who has a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who entered the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established institution of learning or other recognized place of study in the United States, particularly designated by him/her and approved by the Attorney General after consultation with the Department of Education of the United States.
The Student Visa will last for as long as you are in school which depends upon the length of the course of study. Your spouse and unmarried children can come to the U.S. once your visa is approved. You can later change your status to allow you to work.
If you are out of status because of some type of violation of your F-1 Student Visa, you should try to apply for reinstatement of student status. Assuming you did not work out of status, there would be a reasonable chance of success, especially if the reason for you going out of status was not your fault.
Get the I-20 from the school and then prepare and submit the F-1 Packet to be submitted. Be sure you can show you have sufficient funds to pay for the school and not become a public charge.