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Applying for a student visa

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Immigration Law

Whether you would like to come to the United States to go to school or train for a job, you will need a student visa before you arrive. Because the application process can be time-consuming and difficult to understand, it is a good idea to learn about student visa options and requirements early.

The U.S. offers foreign students two types of visas: M-1 and F-1. You should apply for an M-1 visa if you want to get job training at a community college or vocational school. If you want to get a degree at an American university, you should apply for an F-1 visa.

Who is eligible for student visas?

There are several basic requirements for receiving either an M-1 or F-1 visa. First, you must plan to enroll in full-time study at an institution approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program. You must also prove that you are either already a proficient English speaker or that you plan to enroll in an English mastery course. Finally, you will need to show that your financial situation will allow you to support yourself while in the U.S. and that you have a home in your own country to return to once you have finished your studies.

How are M-1 and F-1 visas different?

An M-1 visa lets international students stay in the country to attend a vocational school, technical school or another job-focused training program. Examples of vocational careers that a student with this type of visa may train for include nursing assistant, chef, electrician or paralegal. A student with an M-1 visa may also work toward an associate degree at a business school or community college.

Students with an F-1 visa may enroll in an accredited U.S. college, university, seminary or another academic-focused institution that awards diplomas, degrees or certificates, including a language training program. Before choosing a place to study, make sure the school has government authorization to enroll international students.