F1 visas are issued to international students who are attending academic programs or English Language Programs at a U.S. college or university. The F-1 Visa allows students to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate, and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
The general criteria for an F-1 Visa includes:
+ The applicant needs to prove that student is financially capable of paying the fees required to attend classes such as tuition fees and living expenses.
+ The applicant needs to demonstrate English competence at the college level.
+ The applicant is required to obtain student admission from the target university, approved by in compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (“SEVIS”).
F2 Visa: The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an F1 Visa holder are eligible for F2 status, and may stay in the US as long as the primary student remains in legal F1 status. The spouse and unmarried children can apply for F2 visas, and either accompany or follow to join the F1 Visa holder in the U.S.
Non-Academic / Vocational Studies
The M-1 visa is available to students coming to the U.S. to attend a non-academic or vocational school. M-1 visa holders are not permitted to work during the course of their studies and they must provide evidence that sufficient funds are immediately available to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of intended stay. There is no limit on the number of people who can receive student visas in any one year.
The J-1 visa in the United States is for students who wish to take part in work-and-study-based exchange and visitor programs in the U.S. These programs are sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, which must be accredited through the Exchange Visitor Program designated by the U.S. State Department. J-1 exchange visitors come to the United States to teach, study, receive training, or demonstrate special skills. The J1 visa is meant for students who need practical training that is not available to them in their home country, and the training must be directly related to their academic program.