When you’re thinking about going abroad to study, you might think that it goes without saying that you’ll be able to get a visa if you’re accepted to the program. The truth is that getting a student visa is not always easy.
Like with other kinds of visas, you have to show that you have a reason to come to the United States and that you’ll be a temporary visitor. A student visa requires you to have the course of study and type of school you want to go to selected before you apply, because you may need an F or M visa depending on your choices.
There are different visas you can get for schooling in the United States. The F visa is the first kind. This is for several types of education including:
- University or college attendance
- High school
- Private elementary school education
- Conservatory studies
- Language training programs or studies at other kinds of academic institutions
Visitor visas are not enough for you to study, so you will need to get your visa approved if you plan to go to one of these programs to study.
M visas are a little different from F visas. They are for vocational and nonacademic programs (with the exception of language training programs).
When can you use a B visa?
There is a third visa, a B visa, which allows you to study in the short-term if you’re not planning on staying long. For example, if you plan to come to the United States and take a course that doesn’t give you credit toward a certificate or degree, then you may be able to use your B visa.
Studying in the USA? Make sure you know your options
Before you come to study in the USA, make sure you know which visa you need and follow the correct application process. If you receive a denial or you aren’t sure which to choose, it may help to learn more about U.S. law before you apply and to be sure that your application is thorough before you submit it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.