The government of the United States offers three different types of student visa types which includes F, J, and M.
F Student Visa: this visa is suitable for studying at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language institute.
J Exchange Visa: this visa serves the purpose of participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study.
M Student Visa: this visa is basically for non-academic or vocational study / training in the United States.
You must apply and be accepted by a U.S. institution of higher education i.e. Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) before applying for an F, J, or M student visa.
Even when an institution is SEVP-certified and able to issue I-20 and DS-2019 forms for use in visa applications, it may not hold national or regional accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation databases list accreditation status for all U.S. institutions. Institutions designated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to place participants in Academic Exchange programs (J visas) must be accredited. Recognition of course credits and degrees by other institutions and by U.S. and international employers is linked to an institution’s accreditation.
After acceptance of application at an SEVP-certified school, candidate receives a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from the institution’s international student office to present when candidate applies for their student visa. Once the form is received, the following procedure takes place:
Step 1. Visiting U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs (Student Visas).
Step 2. Visiting U.S. Department of State – U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Step 3. Visiting U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Study in the States.
It must be noted that two separate U.S. government agencies are involved with international student arrival and status while studying in the United States. The State Department is responsible for the visa application process and issuing the visa. Once a visa holder arrives in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security then takes over as the responsible agency for entry into the country, as well as issuing and enforcing international student regulations.
If you have any queries regarding the USA Study Visa Program, please do not hesitate to book your consultation with us today to find out which pathway and relevant sub-stream is perfect for your application to this Program.