Student Visas

Once you've received acceptance to a U.S. university, you can begin applying for a visa. The F-1 visa is most common for full-time university students. However, if you plan on working or participating an internship you may want a visa that allows for more flexibility.

Visa Type Title Description Employment Regulations Length of Stay Requirements
F-1 Student Visa For full-time students enrolled in an academic or language program Students must maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on the I-20 form On-campus job that is limited to 20 hours per week After one year application for off campus work is accepted by USCIS however they are only granted when student is suffering from extreme economic hardship Duration of student status plus 60 days For All Visas:
  • Complete application
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant
  • Form DS-156, and DS-158
  • Interview at the embassy consular
  • Passport with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the applicants intended period of stay
  • Transcripts and standardized test scores
  • Financial evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during study
  • Form 1-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students
  • Form 1-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) student status for vocational Students
J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Issued for students needing practical training that is not available in their home country to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to the academic program. Off-campus employment can be authorized when it is directly related to the course of study, related to academic funding, or economic necessity Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, 40 hours otherwise Duration of student status After returning home, the student must wait two years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa
M-1 Vocational Student Visa Issued for students attending a non-academic trade or vocational school Field of study can not be changed No employment except for a temporary internship for practical training purposes Duration of student status plus 30 days Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year Possible extensions up to 3 years

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