The United States' student visa provides an opportunity to foreigners to study in American language schools, high schools, universities and other institutions of higher education. Thousands of learning institutions are approved to accept foreign students on full time studies. It is possible to change schools and universities while being on an F-1 Student Visa without leaving the country.
Student Visa Types
F-1 Visa (Academic Visa) - If you wish to attend a university or other academic institution in the United States, including primary and secondary schools, or a language training program you require an F-1 visa. It is possible in certain limited circumstances for the holder of an F-1 visa to obtain permission to work in the United States. You can remain in the U.S. for up to 60 days after the completion of the course or practical training on your F-1 visa.
M-1 visa (Non-academic Visa) - If you wish to pursue a course of study which is not principally academic in nature at an established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution such as a post secondary vocational or business school you require an M-1 visa. Holders of M-1 visas may only engage in employment if it is a required part of their practical training and the employment has been approved in advance by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. As a holder of an M-1 visa you may remain in the United States for the period of time it will take to complete the course of study as indicated on the I-20M plus 30 days, or for one year, whichever is less. Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the United States for the duration of your stay require derivative F-2 or M-2 visas.
Requirements to Get a Student Visa for the US
- School Admission - you must be accepted in an educational institution that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
- Interview - the immigration authorities reserve their rights to decline your visa based on the interview and their assessment of your personal situation.
- Sounds Intentions - you will have to provide proof of permanent residency in your home country and your intention to leave the USA after the course of study ends.
- Ties to your home country - to support your intention to return home you will have to prove ties and reasons to go back - family, business, bank accounts, major financial assets, etc.
- Sufficient funds - you will have to prove you have enough funds to support your stay as legal working opportunities on a student visa will be limited.
Visa First are the worlds largest student visa specialist assisting over 30,000 clients every year to get their educational visas processed.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need the F-1 Student visa?
What documents and information do I need to provide?
- Your original, valid Passport;
- One passport size photograph;
- The proper application forms;
- Form I-20 provided by the school or academic institution you are enrolled in;
- Evidence of sufficient funds covering all expenses, including tuition;
- Evidence of your academic qualifications;
- Application Fees.
Who can apply for this visa?
Am I allowed to work on the F-1 visa?
How long can I stay in the US on F-1 visa?
Can my spouse/children join me in US?
What is the right time to apply for visas?
What about shifting schools once I get there?
I get my visa on one I-20; then I get another I-20 from another school, which I now want to join. What will I have to do?
Does the reputation of the college have any bearing on my visa application?
Does it help if I have been chosen by 10 schools?
Is a student visa guaranteed when an I-20 form is issued by a university?
If sufficient funds are not available, can a loan from banks or other institutions help in getting a student visa?
Do I have to pay the first year's tuition expenses in advance and show a receipt from the university?
Do I need the student M-1 visa?
Am I allowed to work on the M-1?
How long can I stay in the US on my M-1 visa?
Group Bookings for USA F-1 (Academic Student) Visa
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Just a quick email to say thank you so much to Visafirst and Hanna in the London office for your help with my Chinese visa. Hanna was a star and kept me up to date all the time. I had already booked my trip to the States. I hoped I'd have my passport and Chinese Visa back in time (as I was off to China the following week) and thanks to Hanna I did. She called me Friday to let me know my Visa should be ready Monday AM and it was. I received my passport and went straight to the airport and all was good, then off to China next week. Great job and thanks again guys for such an efficient service.
George I would just like to thank you and your team for everything you guys have done for me and Alana. You have made our dream of returning to Australia possible and for that we are so grateful. You have changed our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for all your hard work and time you guys put in to helping us to make our dreams come true. Peace and love and happiness to you and yours. Take care George! Over and out my friend. Australia here we come...
Hello George, Thank You once again I will definitely recommend you to all my American friends, also in few months I will be back to get my mother in as a dependent parent which she is and once again want to say a big Thank You from my whole family for all the work done right!!!
Thanks again Daisy! Make sure you let your Manager know that you have a very happy customer here and that you were a wonderful help! Thank you and take care. Greta Sian Robinson
Approved RSMS visa - Hey George, Just a quick email to say thanks very much for all your help and work over the last year its much appreciated. We got there in the end. Thanking you again
Hey Rita, First of all thank you so much for all your hard work and effort in getting my visa for me. You have been very helpful and answered all my questions and queries that I had. My fiancé and I are very happy and excited about getting back to Australia so thank you so much! Thank you so much again Rita.
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