To study in the US one needs visa and proof of sufficient financial resources. The most commonly used visa for studying in the United States is the F-1 visa. However, under certain circumstances, students come to the US on J-1 and M-1 visas with the proof of sufficient financial resources.
To obtain any of these visas – a person must be in good faith non-immigrant. He must resist the presumption that one seeking to enter the US is an immigrant. The person must establish that he has a residence outside the US and that he has no intention of abandoning.
How doesF-1 differ from J-1 and M-1 visas?
F-1 status visa is for one to come to the US as a full-time student. The person must obtain an I-20AB issued by a school or school system authorized by the Immigration Service to sponsor foreign students. Colleges and Universities and other public school systems and private schools are so authorized.
The foreign student must establish that he has sufficient financial resources. He should establish that he has adequate funds to provide for school and living expenses in the US or an affidavit of support known as (form I-134) submitted by a close family relative or other person who is willing and able to provide such support. He must maintain a full course of study which for an undergraduate college or university, usually requires at least 12 credit hours a semester and failure to maintain a full course study is a violation of status – reason to deport him out from the United States.
F-1 students are not permitted to work except certain circumstances. Students can work on campus, engage in an internship or other work study program that is an integral part of the curriculum and obtain employment authorization under certain circumstances including a change in economic circumstances or optional practical training during certain periods before graduation and for one year after graduation.
J-1 status visa also known Exchange Visitor (J-1)Students are admitted to the United States to engage in one of a number of possible activities – one of which is study. J-1 status must be pursuant to a foreign exchange program. J-1 students must maintain a full course of study as the same as F-1 students. A failure to maintain status as a full time student at the authorized school is a violation of status and could be the reason to deport the student out from the US. J-1 foreign students may be authorized to work under certain circumstances example: a possible 18 months of practical or academic training by the responsible officer and up to 36 months for post-doctoral training.
M-1 status visa also known M-1 Student was created to separate from the foreign student category those persons coming for vocational-type training rather than to engage in an academic program. The process and requirements for obtaining M-1 status are similar to those for obtaining F-1 status. He should submit a proof of adequate financial support and evidence to establish that he intends to be a bonafide non-immigrant student.
An M-1 student may not transfer to another school after he has been in the US for six months as an M-1 student unless there is an inability to continue at the school originality admitted for due to circumstances beyond the student control. He is not permitted to be employed in the US except for practical training.
Source of facts and other information: International Student Guide to The United States of America
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