F1 Student Visa
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States for study must first obtain an F1 Student Visa or an M-1 visa from the U.S. Consulate in their home country. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F1 Student Visa or an M1 visa.
Historically, the F1 Student Visa classification has been the most commonly utilized nonimmigrant classification for foreign students from kindergarten through graduate school. The use of F-1 visas are barred for public elementary school and publicly funded adult education programs and limits attendance in public secondary schools to periods not exceeding 12 months and conditioned on reimbursement of the cost of the education.
The M1 visa is a type of student visa reserved for vocational and technical schools other recognized non-academic institutions, other than language training programs.
Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F1 or M1 student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school. Visit the Department of State EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more..
When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Form I-20 to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the United States while you study, they must obtain individual Form I-20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
If you have questions about your eligibility to study in the U.S. on an F1 Student Visa, the experienced immigration attorneys at Allen & Pinnix, P.A. can evaluate your situation and explain your options. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation or call us at 919.755.0505. Our attorneys can meet with you in person, by telephone or via Skype.