Before you can come
to the United States as a student, you must be accepted to a school
and prove that you have sufficient financial resources
(scholarships, loans, family or personal resources) to pay your
school and living expenses. For information on sources of financial
aid, on applying to schools, and on organizations in your country
that can assist you, see the area of our website called Study in the
are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in
the United States (a nonimmigrant is someone admitted to the U.S.
visa includes academic students in colleges, universities,
seminaries, conservatories, academic high schools, other academic
institutions, and in language training.
"M" visa is for people wishing to pursue nonacademic or
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible to
apply for the F or M visas, you must intend to stay for a temporary
period of time and have proof of compelling ties (social, family,
economic, professional or other) to a residence outside the United
States to which you will return after the visit. You must also meet
the following criteria:
You must have
successfully completed a course of study normally required for
enrollment. Unless you are coming to participate exclusively in an
English language training program, you must either be sufficiently
proficient in English to pursue the intended course of study, or
have made special arrangements for English language courses or
teach the course in your native language.
You must prove that sufficient funds are, or will be,
available from an identified and reliable financial source to
defray all living and school expenses during the period of
your study in the U.S. Specifically, you must prove that you
have enough readily available funds to meet all expenses for
the first year of study, and that adequate funds will be
available for each subsequent year of study. If you are
applying for an M-1 visa, you must have evidence that
sufficient funds are immediately available to pay all tuition
and living costs for the entire period of your intended stay.
You must be accepted as a full-time student in a U.S. academic
educational program, language-training program, or vocational
program. The school must be approved by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS), and the school must send you a
Form I-20 (which it receives from the INS).