Others

Overview:

The following are nonimmigrant (temporary) visas available for individuals seeking to enter the U.S. for academic study, vocational training or exchange program:

F-visa – academic study for qualified students (Applies to most university programs)
M-visa – non-academic or vocational study.
J-visa – exchange visitors to study, teach, research or train in the U.S.

F Visa

The F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for academic or language training students qualified to attend full time college, university, conservatory, academic high school, and any institutions with language training programs in the U.S. The F visa is the most popular visa for the purpose of pursuing study in the U.S.

F Visa Requirements:

  • Completion of requirements for the enrollment to the USCIS approved school the foreign student will be entering,
  • Obtain “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status” (I-20A-B),
  • Be proficient in English unless the student will be participating in an English training program, or the school will teach the student English,
  • Intends to leave the U.S. after the completion of study,
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover all school and living expenses while studying in the U.S.


F visa Application Process:

First, the foreign student must apply and be accepted to a school specifically approved by the USCIS. Once accepted to attend, the school will provide an I-20 form to the student. The F visa application, along with other required documents, should be submitted at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of permanent residence. Also, a personal interview with consulate is usually required for the first time F visa applicants.

Employment:

Foreign students may not work off-campus at anytime during the first year of study. After one year, students may be allowed to accept off-campus employment. Student may accept on-campus employment without the permission of USCIS.

Other Information:

Once granted a F-1 visa, a foreign student will be allowed to stay in the U.S. for the “Duration of Status,” which is indicated on the I-94. The “Duration of Status” is the period during which a foreign student is enrolled as a full-time student, and pursuing to complete his/her course of study. Foreign students are required to maintain a full time student status. At the end of the study, foreign students have 60 days to leave the U.S. For more information on the F visa, please contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

M VISA

M visa is a nonimmigrant visa granted to those pursuing nonacademic or vocational studies in the U.S. Through the M visa, a student has an opportunity to receive training in the U.S. to strengthen their technical and vocational skills. Students must attend USCIS approved school to obtain M visa and these schools are usually those that offer vocational and technical training.

M Visa Requirements:

  • Accepted to attend USCIS approved school,
  • Obtain a form called “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M visa) Student Status For Vocational Students” (I-20M-N),
  • Proof that there are sufficient funds to cover all school and living expenses for the entire period of intended stay,
  • Intends to leave the U.S. after the completion of study,


M Visa Application Process:

To obtain an M visa, the foreign student must first apply and be accepted to a school approved by the USCIS. Once accepted to attend, the school will provide a form called “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M visa) Student Status For Vocational Students (I-20M-N) to the student. The M visa application, along with other required forms and documents, should be submitted at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of permanent residence.

Other Information:

M visa can be extended if studies will take longer than the Duration of Status date, or vocational program takes longer than a year. M visa student may not accept employment unless it is a temporary employment for practical training after completing the studies. Also, an interview is usually required for the first time M visa applicants. For more information regarding the M visa, please contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

J-VISA

The J visa is granted to exchange visitors coming to the U.S. temporarily to study, teach, research, or to receive training under the sponsorship of university, private company, the U.S. government, or the foreign national’s own government. The organization sponsoring the foreign national under the J visa must be approved by the government. The purpose of the J visa is to allow foreign nationals to participate in educational programs in the U.S. Under the J visa, there are different categories. Examples of categories under the J visa are, professors, research scholars, physicians, college and university students, camp counselor, government visitor, and international visitor.

J visa Requirements:

  • Completion of requirements for the enrollment to the U.S. school the exchange visitor will be entering,
  • Obtain a form called “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status” (DS-2019),
  • Proof that there are sufficient funds to cover all school and living expenses or sponsoring organization that will provide such funds while in the U.S.,
  • Be proficient in English or entering a program for non-English speakers.


J visa Application Process:

The J visa application should be submitted at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of permanent residence. The J visa application should be submitted along with required forms and documents. Also, an interview is usually required for the first time J visa applicants.

2-year Home Country Residency Requirement:

While certain individuals see the J visa as the most ideal visa to come to the U.S., some are reluctant to apply for the J visa because of the possibility of the 2-year Home Country Residency Requirement applying to them. If the 2-year Home Country Residency Requirement applies, it requires J visa exchange visitors to return to their home countries and reside there for 2 years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant H or L visa. However, certain individuals may be able to obtain a waiver for the 2-year Home Country Residency Requirement. For more information on the applicability of the 2-year Home Country Residency Requirement and its waiver, please contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.