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What are the different student visas available?
August 1, 2017: 8:45 PM ET

By Patricia Elizee, Esq.

A foreign immigrant who is interested in coming to the United States to study at a university or professional school as different options available to them. Each student visa is different and each one has their own benefits and restrictions.

The F-1 Visa allows students to study full-time in the United States at a public institution such as an accredited college, university, high school, etc. The student applying for this visa must be seeking a degree, diploma, or certificate and his/her school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

You must be part of an institution that is SVEP certified, and later will receive an I-20 Form from a designated school official and pay a for the I-901 SEVIS receipt. Your information will be added to the SEVIS database with a personalized ID number.

Requirements for F-1 Visa:

o Form I-20.
o SEVIS I-901 receipt.
o Signed passport (valid for 6 months after U.S entry).
o Transcripts or diplomas from current or pre vious institutions.
o Program of study description.
o Accommodation information.
o Proof of funds to pay tuition and living ex penses for either the length of your study or one year, whichever is shorter.

The M-1 Visa applies to those who are enrolled in vocational or nonacademic programs aside from language training. The program chosen must be completed in full-time. The only exception is when you need a few credits to finish your course of study.

You must show evidence that you can support yourself and have health insurance. When your application to a certified University is approved, you will have to fill out an I-20 form to apply for the visa.

Requirements for M-1 Visa:

o Be enrolled in an academic educational pro gram, a language-training program, or a vo cational program.
o The school must be part of the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
o Be a full-time student at the institution.
o Passport valid in U.S (6 months after U.S entry).
o Have enough funds for self-support.
o Keep a residence abroad.
The J-1 Visa is for non-immigrants given by the United States for visitors who want to engage in a cultural exchange program, more specifically for those who want to be trained for medical or business purposes.

Exchange visitors for the J-1 visa are allowed to do several tasks such as study, teach, demonstrate skills, or receive training. Moreover, the training must not be available at the applicant's home country.

Requirements for J-1 Visa:

o Be SEVIS eligible. o Training/ Internship Placement plan (Form DS 7002). o Form DS-160. o Valid U.S passport (6 months after U.S en try). o Must not intend on abandoning home coun try.

The H-3 Visa is for individuals who want to be trained in the U.S for a particular job. The reason for this is to help improve a person's career path in his or her home country.

Prior to applying for this type of visa, the person must have some previous knowledge necessary to be part of a U.S training program. The person must also have intentions of returning back to his or her home once the visa terminates.

Requirements for H-3 Visa:

o Have previous knowledge. o Job is provided by U.S Company. o Employment is minor part of full program. o Same type of training can't be available at person's home country.

Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of Elizee Law Firm, a firm focused on immigration and family law issues.
Ms. Elizee can be reached at 305-371-8846, 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131.


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