Types of Student Visas Available in Virginia

Student visas are often handled through the school the applicant will be attending once they enter the United States. In some cases, however, if an individual has issues in their background that might make them inadmissible for a student visa, an attorney may be more useful.

An example of an instance when a person would be inadmissible is if they have a criminal record in their home country. Another example is if a person has any kind of prior immigration violation in the United States, such as overstaying a visa in the past, or has encountered other problems with US immigration officials. Individuals in these types of situations may want to hire an Virginia student visa lawyer.

Student Immigration Statuses

There are a few different types of student visas; the F visa, the M visa, and the J visa. A person may be eligible for one or more of these statuses. Generally, if a person has no family in the United States with immigration status who is able to petition for them, in many cases, a student visa is their best option. Asylum may be an option for some individuals, but they should inquire about that as soon as they enter the US because there are deadlines that apply.

F Visa

The F visa is available to international students who want to come to the United States to pursue full time academic studies, and can also apply to language training programs. A person does not need to attend a four-year degree program in order to be eligible, but they do need to attend full time, meaning they cannot come to the United States to take night classes or something similar. Instead, they must have a full time course load and must maintain that course load throughout their time in F status.

M Visa

The M visa is very similar to the F visa, however, it is available to people who are entering to study at a vocational or other type of non-academic institution, so they do not necessarily need to attend a university. Since a person would not need to come to the US for academic reasons, they could come in for some other type of training that only takes place in the United States.

J Visa

The J visa is a short-term visa program available to individuals who want to come to the United States to participate in cultural exchange programs. The definition of cultural exchange is quite broad, but it can apply to students, professors, research scholars, foreign physicians, teachers, counselors, au pairs, summer students, or individuals coming to the US for a travel and work program.

The most important thing for the J visa is that the person’s program is accredited through the J visa program, meaning it was identified by USCIS to be a qualifying organization. The person must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves in the US, and they must have medical insurance for themselves and their whole family while in the United States.

Virginia Student Visa Lawyer