Which type of Student Visa to get?

You have three Student Visa Options: J-1 Visa, F-1 Visa, and M-1 Visa. What student visa you should get depends on the answers to the following questions: 

What is the objective of you coming to the US? Study in a program or get training? What type of program? How long? What is the long-term goal or objective? Do you plan on returning to your home country?

  • J-1 Visa is best for:
    • Applying to a specific educational exchange program such as the Fulbright Fellowship Program, Foreign Medical Training Program, or as an Au Pair ;
    • Students whose financial aid package is over 50% from scholarship/fellowship/tuition waiver;
    • Students who plan on working on or off campus; 
    • Those with dependents that may want to work or also study in the U.S.; and
    • Those who understand they may have to return to their home country for two years after the program ends before they return to the U.S., unless they are eligible for a waiver.
  • F-1 Visa is best for:
    • Most common student visas for U.S. schools;
    • Applying for a general undergraduate institution;
    • Students funding school themselves or receiving general financial aid (any form is acceptable);
    • Not planning on working off-campus (or willing to get employment authorization); and
    • Language based study programs.
  • M-1 is best for
    • Those pursuing non academic or vocational studies;
    • Those with evidence of sufficient funds to cover all tuition and living expenses; and
    • Those focusing on the study (no full-time work permitted).

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