Feb 4, 2013

Getting Student VISA for USA

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As the home of nearly one in every five universities across the world, the United States remains the world’s leading destination for studies. Of course, it is not just grand educational opportunities that draw students in. It is world’s largest economy with the GDP of $15.1 million approximately and the per capita income of the country is world’s seventh-highest. Whether you’re drawn to the bright lights and fast pace of big cities or sun-kissed beaches and lush forests of sub-urban areas, you will be able to make an appropriate choice in the sheer volume and variety of educational establishments present in this huge and massively diverse country.

USA Wavy Flag
USA Wavy Flag (Photo credit: Vectorportal)

VISA Descriptions and Qualifications

The United States welcomes students from all across the world who come to the US (United States) to study. Before applying for a student VISA in USA, all student applicants are required to be accepted and approved by their school or program. The two kinds of student visa required by each applicant are as follows:


This is the most common type of student visa. If a student wishes to engage in academic studies in United States at an approved school, such as an accredited US college or university, you will need an F-1 visa. An F-1 visa is also required if the course of study is more than 18 hours a week.

A student wishing to pursue a course of study which is not principally academic in nature at an established vocational or other recognized non-academic institution such as a post-secondary vocational or business school requires an M-1 visa.

Entry & Length of Stay  
In order to get a student visa, the applicant must be enrolled in a full-time academic educational program. The course or degree the applicant is interested in should be approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). It is possible in certain limited circumstances for the holder of an F1 visa to obtain permission to work in the United States. Holders of M1 visas may only engage in employment if it is a required part of their practical training.

The holder of a student F1 or M1 visa may enter the United States up to 30 days before the designated registration date on the I-20A-B or I-20M. The 30-day limitation does not apply to students returning to resume studies. Such students may enter in United States at any time.

The holder of an F-1 visa may remain in the United States for up to 60 days following the completion of the course or practical training while the holder of an M-1 visa may remain in the United States for the period of time he will take to complete the course of study or for one year, whichever is less.

Advantages to Spouses, Children and Partners

The Partners Statue in Central Plaza
The Partners Statue in Central Plaza (Photo credit: Loren Javier)

Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States during his/her stay require derivative of F-2 or M-2 visa. Spouses and/or children who do not intend to reside in the United States with the principal visa holder, but might visit for vacations, may be eligible to apply for visitor (B-2) visas.


No assurances regarding the issuance of visas are given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.