There so many types of visa offered by the US embassy for different travel purposes which may include business, journalism, tourism, permanent residency or for academic purpose. Therefore, each type of American visa is for a specific travel purpose. The USA student visa is one class of this types of visa.
Two types of visa exist in the US which are the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa.The immigrant visa is designed for those who wish to seek permanent residence in United states. These individuals after being absorbed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is entitled for a permanent resident card (green card).
However, for temporal visit to united states such as business, tourism, internship and to study abroad – the nonimmigrant visa is applicable. Example the i1 visa is for foreign media representative, B1 visa for business while B2 visa is for tourism. You can visit the USCIS website for the complete list of nonimmigrant visas. Follow the link below as a guide to your visa application.
If you are a student and is wishing to travel to US for your college, Bachelor, Masters or Doctorate degree. The USA nonimmigrant student visa can come in three (3) different categories which are F1, J1 and the M1 visas. These three types of visa are designed specially for individuals who are travelling to acquire knowledge from US. However, the type of visa to travel with as a student depends on the type of academic program you wish to pursue in USA.
Types of student visa to study in US
Here, i will give you a brief introduction to all the 3 types of student visa obtainable for you to study in USA and how to apply to each of them. Also, for you to consider applying for a US visa, there are some requirements you will meet to make you eligible.
F1 student visa
An F1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for all those wishing to attend college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, language training program, or other academic institution. While the F2 visa is for dependents – which can be your spouse or children who will need you for survival and must accompany you to US.
However, to be eligible to apply for an F1 visa, You will have to gain admission in any school in US that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Also, Your financial capability is a very important factor to consider when the embassy is to give you an F1 visa. In other words, you will have to prove to the embassy that you are capable to take all the financial responsibilities while studying in US.
J1 student visa
The J1 student visa is also known as the nonimmigrant exchange visitor visa. This type of visa is to enhance exchange of education and cultures among a country and US. Therefore, this type of visa covers a lot of categories of people who are travelling to gain or exchange experience. The exchange program covers students as well as other nonimmigrants such as;
- Intern and trainee
- International Visitor
- Au Pair
- Camp Counselor
- Government Visitor
- Professor and Research Scholar
Contrary to the F1 visa, students who wish to travel to US with the J1 visa will need a visa sponsorship rather than self financing. In that regards, it is your visa sponsor that will offer you the Visa application form to fill.
Visa sponsorship simply means a company or someone from the country you are visiting agreeing to take full responsibility of your stay in the country. The sponsor may be a friend, your spouse or an organization that may wish you work for them.
M1 student visa
M1 Visa is designed for students who wish to travel to USA to learn a special skill or vocation. Such skills includes; Cooking classes, flight school, Programming languages, welding ,cosmetology and other types of technical and vocational studies. 1
This type of visa has similar requirements just as the F1 visa, the difference is just that the M1 visa is simply for skill acquisition and not degree programs or equivalents.
Student visa dependents
A USA dependent visa is a type of visa that will allow spouses and children to accompany a visa holder to the United states. Therefore, each dependent will need to fill the travel forms individually.
Each of the dependent is to file a corresponding student visa in other to accompany the student to travel. The visa for student dependents includes; The M2 visa, J2 visa and the F2 visa. These types of visa have to correspond to the type of visa the student is holding.
Eligibility for USA student visa
When you are thinking of applying for the US student visa, you will have to meet the following criteria. Note, your country embassy may require extra documents or qualifications in other to be eligible for a student visa. However, these items will serve as a guide to what you should expect.
- The student must be a foreign student who is currently willing to further His/her education in USA
- A valid international passport
- Previous academic credentials depending on your level of education.
- A Transcript certificate for graduates
- Certificate from institution attended (if a graduate)
- Certificate of English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, CPE etc.)
- A proof of financial capability (for f1 or M1) or a designated sponsor that is ready to enroll you in their program (for j1)
- Program fees as stipulated by your sponsor
- SEVIS I-901 fees and visa fees
- Medical insurance ( this may be given to you by your sponsor if on j1)
How to apply for a student visa
If you wish to apply for any of the student visas, you will need to follow the link below to fill the the Nonimmigrant Visa Application form (DS-160 form).