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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​  Student Visas


To study in the U.S., all foreign citizens must have a student visa, even citizens from countries participating in the visa waiver program. There are two types of student visas available, depending on the course of study and the type of school the student intends to attend – F1 visas for academic students and M1 visas for non-academic or vocational students. Temporary visitors’ visas (B1 or B2) may be used for short recreational courses of study.

F-1 academic student visas allow foreign students to temporarily enter the U.S. solely for the purpose of pursuing a full court of study at an established academic high school, college, university, or language schools. F-1 visas are valid for the time necessary to complete the course of study and any authorized practical work training (e.g., internship) plus 60 days. Students with F-1 visas may engage in part-time employment on campus or some off-campus locations and may be allowed to work off-campus due to emergent circumstances.

M-1 visas are similar to F-1 visas, except they are intended for studies at vocational or other non-academic institutions. M-1 visas are valid for the period of time necessary to complete the course of study plus 30 days, or for one year, whichever is less. Extensions up to 3 years plus 30 days may  be available. Students with M-1 visas may be allowed to engage in temporary employment for practical training after completion of studies.

Spouses and children of foreign students on F-1 or M-2 visas may accompany them to the U.S., however they may not accept employment and only children may enroll in elementary and secondary schools without a change in status.  At Handy Legal Services, we can guide you through a complicated student visa application process, including meeting the pre-application requirements, extension of stay, or change of status and save you a lot of time and money. Call us now for a legal consultation.