For foreign citizens who wish to attend a private elementary school, high school, college, university, seminary, conservatory or other academic institution, including a language training program are required to obtain an F visa before doing so; however, students who are going to attend a recognized nonacademic institution or vocational program must apply for what is called an M visa.
Those individuals who wish to take a short course of study that is less than 18 hours a week and is recreational may do so on a visitor (B) visa. For courses of study that are longer than 18 hours a week, they will need to acquire a student visa.
In addition to attending a college or university, people who wish to visit the U.S. in order to attend seminars, conferences, or other programs of academic study for scholastic credit will also have to obtain a student visa before participating in such courses.
In order to attend an elementary school, high school, college, university, or other academic program, an F-1 visa will be the appropriate one to obtain. All new students who wish to attend a school or other academic program are advised by the Department of Homeland Security to enter the U.S. approximately 30 days in advance of the first day of study. If a student wishes to enter into the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date of the course, they must first obtain a visitor visa.
On the other hand, continuing students may apply for their new visa at any time as long as their student visa status is current; furthermore, continuing students may enter the U.S at any time before their classes begin.
There are specific requirements that must be met before an immigrant can obtain a student visa and they include the following: (1) have a residence abroad, with no intention to leave that residence (2) intend to leave the United States once they complete their studies and (3) possess sufficient funds in order to pursue their proposed course of study.
In order for a foreign national to obtain a student visa they will need to have an interview at the embassy consular section; however, individuals under 13 or over the age of 80 will not have to submit to the interview process. Keep in mind that no two interviews are identical because each person’s situation and academic pursuits are different. Each person may be required to provide different documents, even if they are requesting the same visa.
Being able to attend an academic program, college or university in the United States may be highly beneficial to your academic career. For this reason, retaining the services of an experienced and qualified immigration attorney can streamline the application process for you. Your lawyer will be able to fully prepare you for the application and interview. Since many educational programs are on their own time constraints, having a seasoned attorney will give you the best possible chances of obtaining the student visa that you need in order to move forward. If you are interested in obtaining a student visa for yourself or a family member, contact an immigration lawyer today!