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Affiliated Attorneys, LLC Blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Studying in the United States

The United States boasts some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world and for many international scholars, it’s the dream of a lifetime to come study at one of them. Unfortunately, acceptance into a school isn’t enough to allow a nonimmigrant to commence studies in the U.S., they also must obtain the appropriate visa. Generally speaking, there are two different types of visas available to students: the F-1 visa and M-1 visa. The desired course of study and the type of school determines which will be needed. An F-1 visa is required to attend university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution (including a language training program). While an M-1 visa is generally required for study at a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution.

Before applying for a visa at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you must first apply and be accepted to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school. The school that you plan to attend will then issue documentation which you will be required to show during your interview with your local consulate.

Since the application process may vary somewhat from one U.S. Consulate to another, it’s important to check with your local one for a detailed understanding of the steps needed during the application process. In most cases, you will first need to complete a Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Once you have completed the form, if you are between the ages of 13 – 79, you will need to schedule your visa interview directly with your local embassy or consulate in the country where you live. In addition to the forms and documents described above, you may also need to show proof of academic preparation which led to your acceptance into the American school, proof of financial support in your home nation and show your intent to depart from the United States once you have completed your studies.

While F-1 and M-1 student visas may be issued up to 120 days before the course of study begins, nonimmigrants may not enter the United States on this visa earlier than 30 days before the official start date. As with any U.S. immigration process, obtaining a student visa can be a difficult, time-consuming process for individuals and their families. An experienced immigration attorney can help you to determine eligibility, file the correct paperwork and make sure you meet all deadlines, minimizing frustration and maximizing your chance of success in the application process.


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Serving Southeastern Wisconsin, with offices in Milwaukee and West Bend, Affliated Attorneys, LLC represent clients throughout Milwaukee County, Washington County, Waukesha County, Dodge County, Ozaukee County, Racine County, Sheboygan County, Jefferson County, Fond du Lac County and Walworth County.



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