For those looking to study abroad in the U.S., you will need to have student visas. To outline all the details and differences, here is a list of the three types of school visas you can apply for.
An F Visa is for international students wanting to pursue an academic degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. This also includes those who are studying English at a university or intensive English language institute.
Three Types of F Visas:
- F-1 Visa: Full time students.
- F-2 Visa: Dependents of F-1 visa holders (spouse and children under the age of 21).
- F-3 Visa: Border-commuters (Mexican/Canadian students who reside in their country and commute to school).
Students with an F-1 visa can work on their campus for 20 hours a week. Those who are looking for more than 20 hours and off campus must get authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
An M Visa is for those international students that are engaging in non-academic studies or training at an institution in the U.S.
Three Types of M Visas:
- M-1 Visa: Students in vocational or non-academic programs.
- M-2 Visa: Dependents of M-1 visa holders.
- M-3 Visa: Border commuters (same as F-3 visas, but for non-academic programs).
Students with a M-1 visa can be in the U.S. for the length of their training plus any Optional Practical Training. This time should not exceed one year, with the exception of medical reasons. They are not permitted to work on or off campus while studying.
The last type of student visa is reserved for those who are international exchange visitors in programs in the U.S. that promote cultural exchange. Regardless of the type of training, applicants should meet the eligibility criteria for the program and be sponsored by either a private sector or government program. J Visas generally allow you to stay in the U.S. for a short period of time, one or two semesters.
Two types of J Visas:
- J-1 Visa: Exchange students on an exchange program.
- J-2 Visa: Dependents of J-1 Visa holders.
Those who have J-1 Visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence if they are part of a government-funded exchange program doing graduate medical educational or training. This means J-1 Visa holders will need to return to their home country for a minimum of two years after their exchange program has ended.
Getting a student visa doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. If you have questions about obtaining a student visa, contact Neelam Bhardwaj today.