A student visa is a kind of endorsement that is added to a passport of a student who is enrolled at qualified educational institutes by the government of the country in which a student is interested in immigrating to.
F-1 and M-1 are the two categories of the student visa. These visas are issued to the students who wish to study in the USA.
An applicant can apply for these categories if they meet the following requirements:
- The applicant must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program
- The applicant school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
- The applicant must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution
- The applicant must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency
- The applicants must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study
- The applicant must maintain a residence abroad which the applicants have no intention of giving up.
F-1 Student visa
The F-1 visa is designed for Academic Student that allows them to migrate to the USA to study for full-time at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The applicant must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and their school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
M1 Student visa
The M-1 visa is for all those vocational students who want to migrate to the U.S. for further study. This visa includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.
F1 students are not allowed to work off-campus during the first academic year, but they may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.
For both F-1 and M-1 students, any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.
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