Amongst the US non-immigrant visas, student and exchange visas are also very demanded. Educational qualifications in the US are highly prestigious and this makes students across the world want to attend US institutions.

Types of US Study and Exchange Visas

The United States visa system is very specific and detailed, categorizing every type of foreigners that wish to enter the country according to their purpose of entry.

The US is supportive of international education, welcoming foreign students and exchange visitors who prior to their entry to the US for study purposes must first obtain a visa. Educational qualifications in the US are highly prestigious and this makes students across the world want to attend US institutions.

However, before applying for a visa, students and exchange visitors must be accepted by their schools or program sponsor in order to be eligible and also fulfill the general requirements in order to obtain a study visa.

There are four types of US student visas depending on the specific reason the international student wants to enter the US:

  • F-1 visa. The F-1 is a US visa for foreign students who wish to attend educational institutions in the US, of these levels:
    • Private elementary school (non-US citizens are not allowed to attend US public elementary schools on an F-1 visa)
    • High school
    • Seminary
    • Conservatory
    • University and college
    • Other institutions, such as a language training program
  • M-1 visa. The M-1 visa is designed for students enrolled in vocational and non-academic education, excluding language courses. Students who wish to enroll in any studies as the ones listed below must apply for an M-1 visa:
    • Technical courses,
    • Cooking classes,
    • Flight school,
    • Cosmetology, and
    • Any other course which is considered vocational.
  • J-1 visa. The J-1 visa is designated for students and exchange program participants, who belong to one of the groups listed below:
    • Au Pairs
    • Camp Counselor
    • Government Visitors
    • Interns
    • International Visitors
    • Physicians
    • Professors and Research Scholars
    • Short-term scholars
    • Specialists in different areas
    • University students
    • Secondary school students
    • Teachers
    • Trainees
    • Work and travel participants
  • Q-1 visa. The Q-1 visa or else known as a Visa for Participants in an International Cultural Exchange Program, which gives the opportunity to adult internationals to come work and train in the US and also the opportunity to share their culture and traditions with people in the US.