United States is known for having the most advanced educational systems in the world.
This is why the Student Visa category is one of the most popular Visa categories and allows for students of all ages to travel to United States to further their education.
|WHO CAN APPLY?||Academic students||Vocational students||Exchange visitors|
|EMPLOYMENT||1st yr On-Campus (less than 20 hrs per week)||Not eligible to work||Same as F-1 with Permission of the Sponsor|
|OPT||Pre-completion and Post-completion||Practical training only after Completion||Same as F-1 with Permission of the Sponsor|
|BENEFICIARY||Spouse and children unmarried under 21 yrs||Spouse and children unmarried under 21 yrs||Spouse and unmarried children under 21 yrs|
|BENEFICIARY VISA CATEGORY||F-2||M-2||J-2|
|BENEFICIARY EMPLOYMENT||Not Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|CHANGE OF STATUS||Yes While in US||Yes While in US||Yes While in US|
|STATE SPECIFIC||Based on the University||Based on the University||Based on the Program|
|ONLINE STUDY||Partially accepted (Subject to change)||___||Partially accepted (Subject to change)|
1-Student Visa (F Visa)
Students who fit this category may apply to a wide range of academic institutions such as:
- University or College
- High School
- Elementary School (Private)
- Other Academic Institution / Language Training
It is important to note that only certain schools and universities are authorized to sponsor students for a Student Visa, so it is important to consult an Immigration Attorney prior to making an application to any schools.
Generally, F-1 Visa is a two-step process. First the student must gain admission to the desired (qualified) school. Once Admission is obtained, the school will generate an I-20.
Next, the required documents, including SEVIS paid bill are submitted to the U.S. Embassy to seek an interview appointment for the Student Visa. Our Law Firm strives to maximize chances of our clientele to obtain a positive outcome.
While the main applicant may qualify for F-1 Visa, his/her spouse and children (unmarried, under 21) may apply for F-2 Visa to accompany the Student.
2-Student Visa (M Visa)
M-Visa process is much like F-Visa; however, M-Visa is obtained for non-academic or vocational schools.
In addition, the duration of the visa may be limited to the specific program you are seeking admission to.
When compared to F-Visa, there are substantial restrictions with extending or changing of M-Visa to another category, therefore careful planning is warranted.
3-Exchange Visitor (J Visa)
The following work/visitors may qualify for this particular visa category:
- Au pair and EduCare
- Camp Counselor
- Government Visitor
- International Visitor (Department of State use)
- Professor and Research Scholar
- Short-term Scholar
- Student (College/University)
- Student (Secondary)
- Summer Work Travel
The process is such that the J Visa applicant must first be accepted into an “exchange program.” Once accepted, much like Student Visas, a SEVIS is generated. The applicant must then take the necessary steps to schedule an interview appointment with U.S. Consulate in their home country.
J Visa holder’s spouse and minor children may qualify to accompany the applicant. It is important to note that depending on the exchange program and some factors as determined by the U.S.
Department of State, some J-Visa holders may be subject to a two-year rule, where the applicant must return to his/her home country for at least two-years upon completion of the exchange program curriculum, prior to being able to return to United States.
Others may not be subject to this rule. Furthermore, J-Visa holders may be subject to restrictions in their ability to change their visa status to another category, therefore careful analysis of all the factors are needed for long-term planning.