University Students Visas
Student visa lawyers
Foreigners visiting the United States for tourist purposes may take a short study course, but may not attend public high school or college. Foreign nationals coming to the United States to study must apply for and be lawfully admitted on a nonimmigrant visa providing for attending the university.
There are limitations and requirements related to foreign (F-1) students attending public secondary/high schools (grades nine through twelve), under U.S. law. Student F-1 visas cannot be issued to persons seeking to enter the United States in order to attend a public primary/elementary school or a publicly funded adult education program.
Dependents of a nonimmigrant visa holder of any type, including F-1, are not prohibited from attendance at either a public primary school, an adult education program, or another public educational institution, as appropriate.
F-1 Student Visa Requirements for Public Elementary and High Schools
- Secondary school attendance is limited to twelve months.
- F-1 secondary school students are required to pay the school the full cost of education by repaying the school system for the full, unsubsidized, per capita cost of providing the education to him or her.
- F-1 students are prohibited from attending public elementary schools or publicly-funded adult education programs.
Students who attend private schools or privately funded adult education or language programs are not affected by the law.
Foreign students who want to attend public secondary school (high school) must pay the full cost of education. This amount is listed under "tuition" on the student's Form I-20. If the Form I-20 does not include the cost of tuition, the student must have a notarized statement, signed by the designated school official (DSO) who signed the Form I-20, stating the full cost of tuition and that the student paid the tuition in full. The full, unsubsidized per capita (for each student) cost of education is the cost of providing education to each student in the school district where the public school is located. Costs normally range between $3000 and $10,000. The student secondary school cost reimbursement requirement is mandatory and school systems cannot waive the reimbursement requirement.
F-1 Student Visa Requirements for College and University
An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a U.S. Consulate to an alien student who is pursuing full-time studies in a U.S. academic institution. You must initially be issued an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility by the school where you will enroll prior to applying for an F-1 Student visa.
A prospective student must be able to demonstrate to the consular official that he has sufficient means of financial support to cover his expenses throughout his academic program and show nonimmigrant intent.
F-1 visa students are usually admitted for the duration of their student status. They are able to remain in the United States as long as they are full-time students.
Families can accompany a student, F-2 visas may be issued to the student's spouse and children. Under an F-2 visa, the spouse may not work or study.
M-1 visas are provided to foreign students for vocational, technical, and non-academic programs. M-1 visa students are able to remain in the United States for either one year or for the duration of their full-time enrollment in a vocational program plus 30 days to prepare to leave the country, whichever is shorter.
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