You want to earn a higher education in the United States, and you know you need a visa. What options do you have to accomplish your education goals?
The U.S. Department of State explains F and M student visas. Determine which one to apply for to attend a specific institution.
If you want to live in the U.S. to attend high school, university, private elementary school, college or a conservatory, you need an F visa. This non-immigrant visa represents the most common option for individuals entering the country as students. With an F visa, you cannot apply for a job in the U.S., but you can work a part-time on-campus job where you work fewer than 20 hours.
Those who want to attend a vocational or another recognized nonacademic institution, outside of a language program, often apply for an M visa. To qualify for the visa, you must obtain a signed Form I-20 from your learning institution after meeting specific requirements. For instance, you must show proof of monetary resources and meet admission standards.
Applying for a visa
To apply for a student visa, you must first apply online along with a photo of yourself. Students aged 14 to 79 must schedule an interview as part of their application, but those younger than 14 and those older than 79 do not. It makes sense to schedule your interview as soon as possible, as wait times depend on the season, geographic location and the visa you desire. You must also pay an application fee and gather additional documentation, including a passport.
You need not let a lack of a visa keep you from going to school in the U.S.