The United States give opportunity to foreign citizens who come to the U.S. to study. Before applying for a visa, all student visa applicants are required to be accepted and approved by their school or program. Once accepted, educational institutions will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation to be submitted when applying for a student visa. Students can apply within 120 days from the start date of I-20 and can travel within 30 days from the start date of I-20.
F-1 Visa for Students
This is the most common type of student visa. If a student wish to engage in academic studies in the United States at an approved school, such as an accredited U.S. college or university, private secondary school, or approved English language program then the student need an F-1 visa. The student will also need an F-1 visa if the course of study is more than 18 hours a week.
M-1 Visa for Students
If a student plan engage in non-academic or vocational study or training at a U.S. institution then the student need an M-1 visa.
U.S. Public Schools
U.S. law does not permit foreign students to attend public elementary school (kindergarten to 8th grade) or a publicly funded adult education program. Hence, F-1 visas cannot be issued for study at such schools.
An F-1 visa can be issued for attendance at a public secondary school (grades 9 to 12), but the student is limited to a maximum of 12 months at the school. The school must also indicate on the Form I-20 that the student has paid the unsubsidized cost of the education and the amount submitted by the student for that purpose.
Note: Holders of A, E, F-2, G, H-4, J-2, L-2, M-2 or other derivative nonimmigrant visas may enroll in public elementary and secondary schools.
Student Assistance, Finding a U.S. School
Students who hope to enroll in an American educational institution are encouraged to contact and visit the U.S. – India Educational Foundation (USIEF).