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What to know about student visas

If people want to attend school in the United States, they usually need to receive a student visa. Applying for a visa can be a detailed process and people need to make sure they understand all of the requirements as they start the application process.

There are several things that people need to consider as they apply for a student visa.

Type of program

According to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, people may need a different kind of visa depending on which kind of academic program they enroll in. If people want to attend a vocational program, they typically need an M visa. However, people usually need an F visa if they plan to attend one of the following institutions:

  • High school
  • University
  • Conservatory
  • Seminary
  • Private elementary school

Additionally, students need an F visa if they attend a language training program.

However, people may not need an F or M student visa if they plan to enroll in a short course. Students may come to the U.S. to take classes that do not provide credit for an academic degree. In this situation, people may need to apply for a visitor visa.

Application process

If people want to receive a student visa, they have to study at certain institutions. The U.S. has a list of approved schools for foreign and exchange students. These schools include universities, as well as high schools and elementary schools. An institution has to accept a student before people can apply for their student visa. Once people receive notice of their acceptance, they can begin filling out the paperwork. Students usually need to provide a photo with all of their documentation. Additionally, most people need to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy in their home country.

Applying for a student visa can sometimes be a lengthy process. People may want to begin the application process early so that they have everything set before their program starts.

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