USA Student Visa – How to Migrate to US as a Student to Work and Study

There are so many types of visas offered by the US embassy for different travel purposes which may include business, journalism, tourism, permanent residency, or academic purposes. Therefore, each type of American visa is for a specific travel purpose. The USA student visa is one class of this type of visa.



US Student Visa

Two types of visas exist in the US immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The immigrant visa is designed for those who wish to seek permanent residence in the United States. These individuals after being absorbed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are entitled to a permanent resident card (green card).


However, for a temporal visit to the united states such as business, tourism, internship, and study abroad – the nonimmigrant visa is applicable. For example, the i1 visa is for foreign media representatives, the B1 visa is for business and the B2 visa is for tourism. You can visit the USCIS website for the complete list of nonimmigrant visas. Follow the link below as a guide to your visa application.

If you are a student and is wishing to travel to the US for your college, Bachelor’s, master or Doctorate. The USA nonimmigrant student visa can come in three (3) different categories which are F1, J1, and the M1 visas. These three types of visas are designed especially for individuals who are traveling to acquire knowledge from the US. However, the type of visa to travel with as a student depends on the type of academic program you wish to pursue in the USA.

Types of student visas to study in the US

Here, I will give you a brief introduction to all the 3 types of student visas obtainable for you to study in the USA and how to apply to each of them. Also, for you to consider applying for a US visa, there are some requirements you will meet to make you eligible.

F1 student visa

An F1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for all those wishing to attend college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, language training program, or other academic institution. While the F2 visa is for dependents – which can be your spouse or children who will need you for survival and must accompany you to the US.


However, to be eligible to apply for an F1 visa, You will have to gain admission to any school in the US that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Also, Your financial capability is a very important factor to consider when the embassy is to give you an F1 visa. In other words, you will have to prove to the embassy that you are capable to take all the financial responsibilities while studying in the US.

J1 student visa

The J1 student visa is also known as the nonimmigrant exchange visitor visa. This type of visa is to enhance the exchange of education and cultures between a country and the US. Therefore, this type of visa covers a lot of categories of people who are traveling to gain or exchange experience. The exchange program covers students as well as other nonimmigrants such as;

  • Intern and trainee
  • Physician
  • International Visitor
  • the Au Pair
  • Camp Counselor
  • Government Visitor
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Teacher

Contrary to the F1 visa, students who wish to travel to US with the J1 visa will need a visa sponsorship rather than self-financing. In that regard, it is your visa sponsor that will offer you the Visa application form to fill.

Visa sponsorship simply means a company or someone from the country you are visiting agreeing to take full responsibility for your stay in the country. The sponsor may be a friend, your spouse, or an organization that may wish you work for them.

M1 student visa

M1 Visa is for students who wish to travel to the USA to learn a special skill or vocation. Such skills include; Cooking classes, flight school, Programming languages, welding, cosmetology, and other types of technical and vocational studies.

This type of visa has similar requirements just as the F1 visa, the difference is just that the M1 visa is simply for skill acquisition and not degree programs or equivalents.

Student visa dependents

A USA dependent visa is a type of visa that will allow spouses and children to accompany a visa holder to the United States. Therefore, each dependent will need to fill out the travel forms individually.

Each of the dependents is to file a corresponding student visa in other to accompany the student to travel. The visa for student dependents includes; The M2 visa, J2 visa, and the F2 visa. These types of visas have to correspond to the type of visa the student is holding.

Eligibility for USA student visa

When you are thinking of applying for a US student visa, you will have to meet the following criteria. Note, your country’s embassy may require extra documents or qualifications in other to be eligible for a student visa. However, these items will serve as a guide to what you should expect.

  • The student must be a foreign student who is currently willing to further His/her education in the USA
  • A valid international passport
  • Previous academic credentials depending on your level of education.
  • A Transcript certificate for graduates
  • Certificate from the institution attended (if a graduate)
  • Certificate of English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, CPE, etc.)
  • A proof of financial capability (for f1 or M1) or a designated sponsor that is ready to enroll you in their program (for j1)
  • Program fees as stipulated by your sponsor
  • SEVIS I-901 fees and visa fees
  • Medical insurance ( this may be given to you by your sponsor if on j1)

How to apply for a student visa

If you wish to apply for any of the student visas, you will need to follow the link below to fill out the Nonimmigrant Visa Application form (DS-160 form).

Meanwhile, you have all you need to proceed on the registration form but if in any way you think there are some confusing steps, Do make use of the comment box or better still Follow the official registration site to ride on and gain your easy Approval free of charge once you meet up with the requirements.


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