F-1 Visa College and University
Schools in the United States offer great opportunities for students who wish to further their education and training. The intellectual stimulation and social interaction gained by studying in the US can become vital elements of a student’s growth and development.
Foreign national students who want to study in the US usually apply for the F-1 visa while vocational students often apply for the M-1 visa. You must apply and be accepted by a USCIS-approved school before applying for either student visa. You will also need to prove to the US consulate that you can financially afford to attend school and take care of your expenses.
F-2 status allows your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old to join you in the US. You should bring your spouse and children with you when you visit the consulate to apply for your F-1 visa. If your spouse and/or dependent children are joining you later, they will need to submit a copy of your USCIS Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – for academic and language students) to the US Embassy staff, along with documents proving their relationship to you. The F-2 status of a spouse and children is dependent upon your F-1 status. F-1 students have the opportunity to work in their field of study both before graduation (curricular practical training) and after (optional practical training, or OPT).
M-1 Visa Vocational School
The M-1 visa offers students the opportunity to train in a positive US environment while strengthening their technical and non-academic skills (this visa does not apply to language training). The M-1 visa is offered to students who wish to attend full time at an USCIS-approved vocational or non-academic school in the US.
A spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old may join you in the US if they have nonimmigrant M-2 status. Although M-1 and M-2 Visa holders are not allowed to work, M-1 holders may apply for an extension of up to six months for practical training.
As with all nonimmigrant visas in which a spouse, dependent child, or both are in the US with the principal visa holder, the immigration status of the spouse and dependent(s) is dependent upon the principal visa holder remaining in current, lawful status. This means that if for any reason you lose your, so does your spouse and dependent(s).
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It is not intended to serve as legal advice.