You need to apply for the non immigrant F-1 student visa if you are planning to attend academic studies, including language courses, in the United States. It should be noted however that the visa can only be obtained directly through the various academic institutions all over America. Foreigners can choose from among several academic fields of study most colleges and universities in the United States offer. The visa aspirant can receive both an undergraduate and graduate degree from any academic institution in the U.S. provided he/she can show exemplary academic performance and meet the required student qualifications. The first step towards the elusive scholastic dream begins with the many ways to apply for a student visa.
It is important to note that F-1 student visa holders are prohibited to engage in paid employment while staying in the United States, although they may be allowed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to labor for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) for about 12 months granted that the total number of months do not exceed 12 and the student maintains outstanding academic performance and standing.
F-1 visa holders can bring their families along to the United States on an F-2 (dependent) visa. However, this type of visa forbids them to apply for any kind of gainful employment. Minor children are allowed to attend public schools though.
If visitors to the United States wish to attend a cultural exchange program, entry to the United States is permitted through the J student visa. Many of these kinds of programs are government-sponsored or given by private entities to deserving students to give them the opportunity to further enhance their talent and capability. A student’s qualification for these exchange programs are usually determined by the visiting country. It is important to note that the student visa only good up to the extent of the program and once the program is completed; the visa holder is required to return to his or her own country. A visa holder can enjoy tax exemption from two to five years depending on their student visa category.
Another type of student visa is given to those who have successfully entered a vocational or technical skill enhancement study program. This is called the M student visa. In the U.S. embassy or consulate of the country of origin, the M type visa applicants need to present the Form I-20. This is the form required in acquiring the M student visa and this form is issued by the technical school adviser upon completion of all academic admission requirements by the applicant along with evidence that he/she has financial capability to uphold his/her entire stay in the United States. With this type of visa, the student visa holder is bound by a fixed time and is only allowed of up to one month practical training for every four months within a period totaling 1 year. This can only be extended if there are any medical reasons or limitations. Usually, a grace period of 30 days is given if the student visa holder has completed a full study course.
Nowadays, foreigners have the equal opportunity and advantage to acquire the excellence of an Ivy League education. Earning a degree in the United States can open many doors of opportunity for foreign graduates not only in his/her country of origin but also from all over the world. This is the main reason why more and more foreigners strive to obtain their education from the United States.