STUDENT VISA

 Applying for a US student visa can be a long process, so make sure you start preparing well in advance – AVC will guide you every step of the way to reach and achieve your American dream!

The United States welcomes foreign citizens who come to the U.S. to study. Before applying for a visa, all student visa applicants are required to be accepted and approved by their school or program. Once accepted, educational institutions will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation to be submitted when applying for a student visa. There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in the United States. These visas are commonly known as the F and M visas. 

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) this is the most common type of student visa. F1 visa allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

An F-1 visa can be issued for attendance at a public secondary school (grades 9 to 12), but the student is limited to a maximum of 12 months at the school. The school must also indicate on the I-20 that the student has paid the unsubsidized cost of the education and the amount submitted by the student for that purpose.

M-1 Student Visa

The M-1 visa (Vocational Student) category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training. 

M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.

You may enter in the F-1 or M-1 visa category provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program

  • Your school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution

  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency

  • You must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study

  • You must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up

  • F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

  • Severe economic hardship 

For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus training employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.
U.S. law does not permit foreign students to attend public elementary school (kindergarten to 8th grade) or a publicly funded adult education program. Hence, F-1 visas cannot be issued for study at such schools.

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AMERICAN VISA CONSULTANCY

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