What is a student visa?

When individuals that live outside of the United States want to enter into the U.S. for schooling, they may be eligible to apply for a student visa. By filling out an I-20 form, you will choose either the M student visa or the F student visa. The M visa is for those wishing to attend a vocational or other non-academic institution. The F visa is for individuals looking to attend a university, college, high school, seminary, conservatory or private elementary school. With a student visa, these individuals will be able to enter the country and obtain an education. This can be helpful to benefit the future of the individual or to expose them to a new culture.

Am I eligible for a student visa?

There are a few requirements that are needed to show that a student is eligible for a student visa. Before choosing whether the M or F visa is appropriate, you must be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor program approved school. Then you will apply for the appropriate visa based upon your school preference.

When trying to obtain a student visa, there are specific places to undergo the process. Visas can be requested through an embassy, consulate or even online. Once the application is completed, an interview will be scheduled to review more in-depth about your student visa.

How do I prepare for the interview part of the process?

Before attending the interview, it is important to gather documents that are required to be presented at the meeting. These documents may include a passport that will be eligible for six months beyond the stay period, an application fee receipt, the I-20 form and a certificate of eligibility for an F-1 or M-1 visa. A photo of yourself may also be required to prove your identity. A nonimmigrant visa application can also be viewed.

In addition to these documents, some interviewers would like to see documentation of your school history. This can include transcripts, diplomas, degrees or any certificates you may have received. Some interviews may not be necessary based on the individual applying for the student visa. If the interviewee is under 13 years old or over 80 years old, they may be excused from having to attend an interview session. However, this decision is based upon the consular officer’s final call.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.