There are two different types of non-immigrant student visas, the F-1 and M-1 visas.
The F-1 visa is for non-immigrants wanting to go for academic studies and/or language training programs, and the M-1 visa is for non-immigrants wanting to go for non-academic or vocational studies.
Student visas are designated non-immigrant visas because they are issued based on the fact that applicant will not intend to stay in the United States permanently. This means that if students are applying for either an F-1 or M-1 student visa they are telling the United States government that they only wish to remain in the United States for as long as it takes to complete their studies. The U.S. Department of State is the U.S. Government office responsible for issuing student visas. The State Department policy is carried out around the world by U.S. consulates and embassies. For this reason, if students are applying for student visas overseas they will be dealing with a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency with jurisdiction over individuals who apply to change or extend student visa from inside the U.S.
F-1 Visa – Academic Student Visa
The F-1 student visa is for students attending a full-time degree or academic program at a school, college, or university approved by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The F-1 student visa is valid for as long as it takes to finish the student’s course of study.
M-1 – Vocational Student Visa
The M-1 student visa is for students who enroll in non-academic or “vocational study”. Some examples of “vocational study” are mechanical studies, technical studies, cooking classes, a language program, flight school or cosmetology program. Unlike the F-1 visa, the M-1 visa is valid for only one year. Students may apply for cumulative extensions for up to three years.
Applying for a student visa on your own could be difficult and overwhelming. But with this guide you can complete the process in a simple and smooth way. Find the Government forms, requirements and step-by-step instructions that you need to complete your Student Visa Application. Start today! Order your kit!
The Student Visa kit describes the process of obtaining an F-1 or M-1 Student Visa and provides you with the USCIS forms needed to apply. However, there are two additional visa categories that may be relevant to someone who is interested in coming to the U.S. to study: the B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa and the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. Following the overview of the visa categories in this package you can establish which one is right for you.
Step by Step Visa Application Procedures:
- Being Accepted to a college/University and Receiving Form I-20
- Applying for a Visa or a Change of Status
- Application Forms
- Payment of the Visa Application Fee
- Supporting Documents
- Consular Interview
- Practical Pointers
- Entering the U.S. with a Student Visa