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US Student Visa

As a foreign student moving to the United States of America to study, you will need a US Student Visa. There are three categories of student visas that you could be eligible for: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 visas give allowance for the possibility of employment in the United States during your stay, while the M1 Visa does not. You should be familiar with the types of visas, how they affect your funding while in the USA and how to go through the application and arrival procedures.

Types of US Student Visas

F1 Visa (Academic Studies)

The “F” US Student Visa is for academic programs. An F1 visa is granted to individuals who are enrolling in an academic program or English Language Program. F1 visas are by far the most popular form of foreign student visa in the U.S. F1 candidates have to maintain the minimum course load for full-time student standing. F1 visa makes you eligible for part-time, on-campus employment (not more than 20 hours each week). Furthermore, students can be employed on optional practical training (OPT) for up to one year after conclusion of their academic study. Students are required to finish their programs by the expiration date on the I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Standing).

J1 Visa (Practical Training)

A J1 visa is granted to individuals who need to get practical training that is not obtainable in their home nation to finish their academic program. J-1 student standing gives allowance for similar employment as the F1 visa, with related restrictions, provided that permission is given by the exchange visitor program sponsor.

M1 Visa (Non-Academic / Vocational Studies)

An M1 visa is given to a candidate who is planning to enrol in a non-academic or technical school. M-1 visa recipients for technical and vocational programs are not allowed to work during the period of their education. The M-1 student visa candidates are required to have proof that sufficient funds are instantly available to pay all tuition and living expenses for the whole period of intended stay.

Living with your US Student Visa in the USA

As you begin to deliberate on funding means for your educational and living expenditure in the United States, take into account that you cannot depend on working in the United States unless you have been awarded teaching or research assistantship. Immigration regulations are very stringent with respect to working while holding a student visa, and when you submit proof of your financial assets, you cannot rely on likely income. The source of funds on which you base your application has to be assured, and it has to be equal to or be greater than the expenses of the first year of your program.

Thorough long-term and short-term preparation is essential to guarantee that you will have a meaningful educational experience in the United States. If you are accurate about your financial requirements, you will be better able to enjoy the thrilling academic and cultural experience of residing and learning in the US.

Applying for your US Student Visa

When preparing your application for a US Student Visa, you will first have to research the admission policy for your school. Keep the following in mind:

Academic Eligibility

Every university has varying academic eligibility conditions. Your school will inform you what their criteria and prerequisites are. If you are still in the stage of researching various schools, you can search online for US Schools to research general academic standing and test scores.

Financial Stability

You will be required to show that you can finance yourself without needing to work.

Health Insurance

You may need to present proof of health insurance so as to cover any medical costs should you require any medical assistance.

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