to Obtain your Student Visa and study in the USA
and Nationality Act provides two nonimmigrant student
visa categories for persons wishing to study in the
United States. The "F" visa is reserved for nonimmigrants
wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language
training programs, and the "M" visa is reserved for
nonimmigrants wishing to pursue nonacademic or vocational
Students and M Visa-Vocational Students Requirements
seeking to study in the U.S. may enter in the F-1
visa or M-1 visa category provided they meet the following
- The student must be enrolled
in an "academic" educational program, a language-training
program, or a vocational program;
school must be approved by U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS);
- The student must be enrolled
as a full-time student at the institution;
- The student must be proficient
in English or be enrolled in courses leading to
English proficiency; The student must have sufficient
funds available for self-support during the entire
proposed course of study; and
- The student must maintain
a residence abroad which he/she has no intention
of giving up.
On my webpage
you can find information about becoming an
academic student and entering the United States
with a student visa.
You can also obtain
information regarding studying the
English language in the United States.
can find out information about
entering the US through a student visa to attend vocational
school and how to apply for the visa, visa ineligibility
waiver, and student employment.
financial aid for individuals seeking student
visas is also available.
about the new interagency initiative known as the
Student Exchange and Visitors Program, or
SEVP program. SEVP is designed to improve processes
for foreign students and exchange visitors holding
F, J, and M visas, and schools, colleges and other
organizations sponsoring programs for these visa holders.
here for a listing of designated sponsors by
category for J-visas (cultural exchange).
will facilitate and automate several processes affecting
foreign students, such as:
- Visa issuance
- admissions to the U.S.;
- benefit requests; and
- information reporting.
as an applicant of a student visa to enter the United
States, you will need to read the
helpful information provided by the Ice Student
and Exchange Visitor Information System. You can obtain
a guide informing you about
what you should expect when entering the US as
a student visa holder. There is also a guide showing
what to expect when entering the US as an exchange
site to find a full list of
US Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas.
How long may
I stay on my F-1 student visa?
When you enter
the United States on a student visa, you will usually
be admitted for the duration of your student status.
That means you may stay as long as you are a full
time student, even if the F-1 student visa in your
passport expires while you are in America.
For a student
who has completed the course of studies shown on the
I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student
is allowed the following additional time in the U.S.
- F-1 student visa holder -
An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure
from the U.S. or to transfer to another school.
- M-1 student visa holder -
An additional 30 days to depart the U.S. (Fixed
time period, in total not to exceed one year).
The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted
as long as the student maintained a full course
of study and maintained status. An M student may
receive extensions up to three years for the total
As an example
regarding duration of status, if you have a
visa that is valid for five years that will expire
on January 1, 2001, and you are admitted into the
U.S. for the duration of your studies (often abbreviated
in your passport or on your I-94 card as "D/S"),
you may stay in the U.S. as long as you are a full
time student. Even if January 1, 2001 passes and
your visa expires while in America, you will still
be in legal student status. However, if you depart
the U.S. with an expired visa, you will need to
obtain a new one before being able to return to
America and resume your studies. A student visa
cannot be renewed or re-issued in the United States;
it must be done at an Embassy or Consulate abroad.