In order to study in the United States, you must have a student visa. You must enter through a port-of-entry to be accepted into the U.S. Having a visa does not guarantee you entrance. Immigration officers may approve or deny you entering the country.
There are three different types of international student visas one can apply for. Each visa depends on what you plan to study. Studying in the US can be expensive and there are many preparations to be made before you travel.
International Student Visas
You must have one of the following types of visas to attend school in the US:
- F1 Visa: This type of visa is for attending an academic program. You must attend as a full-time student or work-study program on campus. One can remain in the US for sixty days after completion of degree or work under the OPT program. To qualify for this visa, you must have a foreign residence, only study in the academic program in which you applied for, demonstrate financial support, and have a strong foundation with your home country.
- J1 Visa: This is for a practical training program. This visa has similar exigencies as an F1 visa. Students with this visa come to the US to learn special training that is not offered in their country. Their academic and training must be directly correlated. There are many different programs to choose from. The agreement is made between the United States and the student’s home government in order to allow a student to participate in the foreign exchange program. Financial assistance is available.
- M1 Visa: Issued for technical or vocational school. One is not allowed to work during attendance and has sufficient funds to pay for all tuition and expenses. Each university has different policies for acceptance.
Anticipating Your Financial Resources
Planning your expenses while studying abroad in the United States is imperative. The income that you base on your application must not be less than you anticipate in the first year of your academic program. You will not be allowed to work except under certain circumstances such as teaching. Regulations under immigration laws are strict about employment and student visas.
The Application Process
Along with reviewing the universities requirements in which you are applying, you must also consider the following:
- Being eligible for the academic program you want to pursue
- Proving that you have financial stability during your course study
- Carrying health insurance to cover medical expenses
The first step in applying to study abroad is to find a SEVP school. This is the Student and Exchange Program. Once you have been accepted, you must pay SEVIS fees which is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Fee. You will then receive an I-20 form that you bring to your Student Visa interview. The next step will be to apply for your student visa then schedule your interview with the US embassy or consulate.
Getting Legal Assistance
The United States immigration and visa laws are very convoluted. Before pursuing studying abroad it may be beneficial to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney Florida. A lawyer can help find the best institutions to study, provide assistance with choosing the proper visa, walk you through the application process, and help you locate the financial resources you will need.