Non Immigrant Visa Petition
If you would like to study as a full-time student in the United States, you will need a student visa. There are two non-immigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in the United States. These visas are commonly known as the F and M visas.
You may enter in the F-1 or M-1 visa category provided you meet the following criteria:
• You must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program
• Your school must be approved by USCIS
• You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution
• You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency
• You must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study
• You must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up
F-1 Student Visa
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment after the first academic year, including:
• Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
• Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)