The non-immigrant visa classification covers a broad range of visas used to enter the United States for work, pleasure or study. Some visas are considered 'dual status'; you may attempt to obtain permanent residency (a green card) while under that classification. Most non-immigrant visas, however, require you establish the demonstration of non-immigrant intent. This means you should demonstrate that you have a permanent residence in your home country that you have no intention of abandoning. The duration of time you may spend in the U.S. can range from a few days to several years, depending on the visa. In most situations, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany you on a derivative visa.
Hundreds of thousands of people come to the United States from around the world to study and improve their skills. Students interested in studying in the United States must be admitted to a U.S. school or university before starting the visa process. However, students should also remember that acceptance by a U.S. educational institution does not guarantee issuance of a student visa.
There are three types of student visas. For visa application instructions, forms, and more, select below.
- Academic Studies (F visa): For people who have been accepted into a program to study or conduct research at an accredited U.S. college or university.
- Non-Academic or Vocational Studies (M Visa) : For people who have been accepted into a program to study or train at a non-academic institution in the U.S.
- Academic Studies as an Exchange Visitor (J Visas) : For people who have been accepted into a program through a designated sponsoring organization to participate in an exchange visitor program in the U.S. The "J" visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs.