Student Visas – Part 1/2

Student Visas – There are a large number of students every year who wish to take advantage of the numerous amounts of programs and learning opportunities in the U.S.  In order for these students to study full-time in the United States, they must apply for a student visa. This blog will discuss the different types of visas that a student may be eligible for.student visas

What Are the Different Types of Student Visas?

The most common form of a student visa is known as the F-1 Visa. An F-1 Visa allows its holder to come to the U.S. as a full-time student. The F-1 Visa can only be issued if a student is successfully enrolled in a program or curriculum which results in them being awarded with a degree, diploma, or some kind of certification. Another condition of the F-1 Visa is that the student must be enrolled in a school which is authorized by the U.S. to accept international students.

Another type of student visa, known as the M-1 Visa. The M-1 Visa allows its holder to come to the U.S. as a vocational school student or as a student registered in other nonacademic programs. Similarly, to the F-1 Visa, an M-1 Visa applicant must be enrolled in a school which is authorized by the U.S. to accept international students.

These are nonimmigrant visas which are issued to professors, scholars, teachers, secondary school students and other individuals who are determined to be eligible, as listed on U.S. Department of State website. We will not go into great depth for J-1 Visas but you should consult an immigration attorney if you interested in pursuing this option.

How Long Can a Student Visa Holder Stay in the U.S.?

A student visa holder is permitted to stay in the United States as long as they maintain the status of a full-time student. After completing their studies, a student visa holder generally has a 60-day grace period, in which they must depart the United States. The stay in the U.S. is also subject to any approved extensions of time on the visa or subject to any change in the student’s non-immigrant status.

Can a Student Visa Holder’s Family Come to the U.S. With Them?

The F-2 Visa and M-2 Visa are available for spouses and dependent children who are under the age of 21. Both types of visas are issued based on the derivative status of the family member to the primary visa holder. The F-2 and M-2 visas are very limited, in that a dependent spouse may not attend a full course of study or obtain work. F-2 and M-2 dependent minor children are permitted to study in grades K-12.

For Part 2 of Student Visas, click here.