The United States offers some of the greatest educational opportunities in the world, which leads students from across the globe to seek admission to the country’s schools. However, to enter the country and remain here legally during a student’s course of study, it is necessary to obtain a visa.
Obtaining a student visa can be challenging, and a misstep can have devastating consequences for any chance of approval. The process is often confusing, and you may need the assistance of legal counsel to complete it. If any issues arise during your application process, an Aurora student visa lawyer could use their extensive experience to help you handle them.
There are three types of student visas that are available to foreign residents. Each type of visa covers different forms of education, such as academic study, practical training, or vocational studies. A student visa lawyer in Aurora could advise a foreign citizen regarding the right kind of student visa to apply for.
The F-1 visa is for international students seeking to further their education by pursuing an academic degree. Their studies must occur at an accredited university or college within the United States. There are also visa options for “border commuters,” which apply to individuals who live in another country near the U.S. border but travel to the U.S. for their studies. F-1 visa holders may also seek additional visas for their dependents during the course of their studies.
J-1 visas are for short-term foreign visitors participating in a cultural exchange program. Often, these visas are used for some form of medical training. This type of training rarely lasts for as long as an F-1 visa.
An M-1 visa is designed for students pursuing vocational studies. This non-academic visa typically lasts for the full length of the vocational program, but could include additional time for optional practical training. In total, the stay must not last longer than a year, except for cases where medical exemptions are granted.
Holders of M-1 visas may not work while studying in the United States, and there is no option for converting an M-1 visa to an F-1. This visa does share some similarities with an F-1, as dependents of the M-1 visa holder could also obtain their own visa for the duration of the program.
Applying for a student visa is only one step in the process of obtaining sufficient residence for some foreign applicants. Students already in the United States might find themselves in a position where they are unable to complete their studies in the amount of time allotted by their visa. While extensions could be available, the process for seeking one differs depending on the type of visa. Seeking an extension could be simplified by the guidance of a student visa attorney in Aurora.
Students with M-1 visas must apply for an extension to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Alternatively, it is up to the appropriate designated school official (DSO) to determine if an F-1 student qualifies for an extension.
If you are considering a student visa, you should not attempt to pursue the complex application process on your own. The requirements for this type of visa are exact, and any mistake could cost you the chance to study in the United States.
If you are ready to pursue your education in the United States further, an Aurora student visa lawyer could help. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.