three girls holding graduation hats in front of

Whether you’re a high school student looking to come to the United States for college or are seeking higher education to further your career, it’s necessary to understand the requirements to become an international student studying in the country. Generally, the most crucial part of this process is obtaining a student visa. This allows you entry into the United States to attend an accredited academic institution. However, there are specific considerations you must make during this process. The following blog explores how a New York City immigration lawyer can assist if you have questions or concerns regarding student visas or eligibility.

What Are Student Visas?

A student visa is a document that allows an international student entry into the United States to enroll in a college or university. However, the type of learning institution you plan on attending will determine what kind of visa you are required to have. Most commonly, students will need either an F-1 or M-1 visa. Students attending a vocational study or training program will apply for an M visa, while high school and university students must file for an F visa, which is much more common. Additionally, if you are involved in a remote learning program in your home country but must be on campus for a short period, you are still required to receive a student visa to enter the country.

It is important to note that if you are part of an exchange program, you must receive a J visa to enter the United States.

Once your study is complete, you will only have 60 days to leave the country from the date listed on your Form I-20. However, you may be able to extend your stay or change your status as an immigrant in the United States.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

It’s important to understand that you must first be approved for a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) accredited college or university before applying for a visa. Additionally, you’ll need to register for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), where you will receive a Form I-2. This allows you to apply for a visa.

To receive your F-1 visa, you must enroll as a full-time student, be proficient in English, prove you will return to your home country, and provide evidence of the finances necessary to study in the United States.

If you wish to change your status after you receive an F-1 visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa. However, this can be a complex process, so it’s in your best interest to seek legal guidance.

Should I Contact an NYC Immigration Attorney if I Need Help?

As you can see, there are many considerations you must make when applying for or extending an F-1 visa to study in the United States. If you are going through this process, it’s necessary to consult an experienced immigration lawyer for assistance.

At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we understand how complex these matters can be. If you find that you need assistance applying for or extending an F-1 visa or you would like to change your immigration status, we can help. Contact our team today to learn how we can guide you through the complexities of this process.