Types of USA Student Visas

Posted on Mar 14, 2016 | Tags: usa visas, student visa, vocational visa

This article provides a brief overview of the different types of student-related U.S. visas, particularly the F-1, J-1 and M-1 visas.

F-1 Student Visa

A student visa is a pretty popular one. The united States welcomes foreign citizens all the time who come to the states in order to study. Before they can even apply for a visa, all student applicants are required to be accepted and approved by their local school or program. Once they’re accepted, the educational institution will give each applicant the proper approval documentation that needs to be submitted when they’re applying for the student visa.

The F-1 visa is actually the most common type of student visa there is. The student visa is necessary for anyone who wants to engage in academic studies within the U.S. These studies can take place at an approved school, an accredited college or university, a private secondary school or an approved English language program. You also need an F-1 visa if the course of study you’re involved in adds up to more than 18 hours a week. A F-1 visa can’t be used by foreign students to attend public elementary schools or even publicly funded adult education program. A F-1 visa can be issued if the student wants to attend a public secondary school ( a high school), but the student can’t study at the school for anymore than 12 months.

To apply for this visa, a DS-160 application must be filled out. You must also have a passport that’s valid at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S. In the application, you should include a photograph taken at least 6 months ago. An appointment with the U.S. Embassy must be scheduled and completed. An incomplete application and interview will result in your visa being unapproved.

This visa should only be used by those who are serious about their education and pursuing it full time in the U.S.

J-1 Exchange Visitor

Foreign citizens are often welcomed in to the United States under one of the exchange visitor programs. Before the individual can receive a visa however, all applicants have to be accepted and approved by an authorized program sponsor. Once they’re excepted, the applicant will get the necessary approval documentation from program sponsors or an educational institution.

The J visa is designed specifically to promote the sharing of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants in the exchange visitor programs include students at all academic levels. The participants also can be trainees obtaining on-the-job training from firms, institutions and agencies.

To apply for a visa the individual must first fill out an DS-160 form. They will also need a passport that’s valid for travel to the United States that’s valid beyond the six months you’re intended to stay in the states. Attached to the form needs to be one photo taken within the last six months. The only way you do not have to pay a non-refundable non-immigrant visa application processing fee is if your J program is sponsored by the United States Government itself. An approved DS-2019 must be submitted as well. To complete the application process, the individual applying must schedule and show up to an interview with the U.S. Embassy. An incomplete application will not be accepted and will result in not being accepted in to the program.

If you have spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 who you would like to accompany you on your trip to the United States, it is important they get a J-2 Visa. The spouse and child may not work in the United States unless they file an Employment Authorization application.

This is a great visa for anyone who feels they can provide great education, arts and science knowledge to the United States.

M Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution Visa

An M-1 visa for a non-immigrant non-academic students is a visa for people who are entering the United States for a limited period of time and for a very specific purpose. In many cases, people applying for non-immigrant visas have to prove that they intend to leave the U.S. when their visas expire and that they don’t intent to immigrate to the states full time. If the person has an H-1B visa, an L-1 visa or an E-2 investor visa they are exempted from this requirement.

Unlike most immigrant visas, most non-immigrant visas are not subject to numerical limits. Non-immigrant visas are just temporary, but many of them are available for a number of years.

An M-1 visa is available for people pursuing a full-time course of study at an established vocational institution approved by the INS. A nonacademic institution includes a vocational high school, vocational training school, community or junior colleges. An M-1 visa holder can’t work except in the U.S. except for if they’re partaking in practical training after they have completed their student studies. An M-1 visa holder can apply for a change of status, but he or she can’t change to an H-1 status if their qualifications only match those of an M-1. An M-1 visa holder can’t obtain an H-1 visa outside of the United States.

People who want to travel to the U.S. must obtain a separate visa. Only spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 years-old can apply to come to the states with a visa holder. They must apply for an M-2 visa in order to travel with the their loved ones; they are not allowed to work during their stay.