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USCIS application procedures: Green Student Visas (F-1 and M-1)
Student
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(Studying in the USA)

There are two categories of Student Visas: F-1 and M-1 Visas. The F Visa is reserved for non-immigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs, and the M Visa is reserved for non-immigrants wishing to pursue nonacademic or vocational studies. The process for applying for these visas is identical, however, there are several differences in terms of qualifications and other limitations.

Who Can Apply?

There are seven basic requirements.
  • You have selected your school and have been "accepted" into an "academic" educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program.
  • The school must be approved by the United States Citizenship and US Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • The student must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution.
  • You must have a license if that is deemed necessary for that particular occupation.
  • The student must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to the learning of the English language. (ESL)
  • The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study; and
  • The student must maintain a residence abroad which he/she has no intention of giving up.

  • Accompanying spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 get F-2 or M-2 Visas which allow them to stay in the United States.

    Generally with F-1 Visas, you may receive permission to work part time while in the US. With M-1 Visas, you may receive permission to work for up to six months once your training is completed. Both visas allow you to transfer to other schools or programs during the course of your studies. However, M-1 students must complete this transfer during their first six months of study.

How do I Apply?
    There are 3 easy steps in the application process for an F-1 or M-1 Visa.

  • You must find the appropriate school which suits your academic needs and which is qualified to enroll Foreign students.
  • Your school of choice must accept your enrollment application and issue a Certificate Of Eligibility (I-20). The school will then send this form to you and you will submit it with your visa application to the USCIS.
  • You will complete your application with the USCIS for either an F-1 or M-1 Visa. The application procedures may be carried out either within the US at a USCIS office, or abroad at the US consulate of your country of residence.

What do I do Now?
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