What types of student visas are available?

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

A good education is highly sought out by those living in America and other countries. Because of the quality of education available in the U.S., many foreign students seek to study in the United States. Whether it is high school, college or graduate school, there are many opportunities for immigrants to come to the country to begin and continue their studies. However, these individuals need to ensure the proper steps have been taken, documents filled out and information filed.

What types of student visas are available? In order to study as a full-time student in the U.S., immigrants will need to obtain a student visa. Depending on the length of time, the type of school and other similar factors, an immigrant student may decide one visa of another is more appropriate for them.

In order to obtain either a F-1 or M-1 visa, certain criteria must be met. The applicant must be enrolled in an academic educational program, language training program or vocational program, the school attended must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, he or she must be enrolled as a full-time student, must be proficient in English or in courses leading to English proficiency, the student must have sufficient funds to support self during the entire course of study and he or she must retain a residence abroad that he or she has no interests in giving up.

With regards to employment, an F-1 student may not work off campus during his or her first academic year; however, they may accept on-campus employment that is subject to certain conditions and restrictions. M-1 students may engage in practical training; however, this can only occur after they have completed their studies.

No matter the program of study or the desired length of stay, immigrants seeking to come to America for an education need to ensure that they understand the visas available to them, the criteria they must meet and what restrictions are placed on them while they are in the U.S. on the visa.

Source: Uscis.gov, "Students and Employment," accessed April 17, 2018


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