Do you want to pursue your studies overseas? If yes, you’re only among the many individuals looking to further their academic experience by migrating
Do you want to pursue your studies overseas? If yes, you’re only among the many individuals looking to further their academic experience by migrating to another country. Not only does it expose you to plenty of opportunities for your future career, but studying abroad also helps broaden your skill set and meet many people who share the same ambitions or perspectives as you. More than that, you also get to appreciate new cultures, food, and activities while gaining knowledge as you go.
But before you can successfully migrate to another country, you will need a student visa. Applying for a student visa lets you enroll in an academic course and study in another country for a period of time. For this, you can seek the help of an immigration lawyer to ensure a stress-free, convenient transfer. Immigration lawyers will help you throughout your case and will give valuable advice regarding your application so that it won’t encounter delays or rejection.
What is a Student Visa?
A student visa refers to a visa issued by the government that permits overseas students to further their academic studies in a foreign country. More specifically, these are non-immigrant visas that don’t necessarily require the holder to possess citizenship.
There are several types of student visas. Generally, the school you’re planning to attend, and your course of study significantly determine whether you require an M or F visa.
- F1 visa
An F1 visa is the most common kind of student visa and is issued to students who are attending an English language or academic program. Students must be enrolled full-time if they want to maintain their legal F1 visa. Moreover, they are also permitted to work up to 20 hours per week and may work on optional practical training after completing school. This visa may be granted to students who want to attend high school, but the visa only covers up to 12 months period of stay.
- M1 visa
If you prefer vocational or nonacademic schooling, then the M1 visa is for you. Unlike J1 or F1 visas, holders of the M1 visa aren’t allowed to be employed while studying. Since they’re not permitted to do so, applicants for this visa must submit proof of evidence that they have money to pay for their living expenses and tuition during their stay.
- F2 Visa or M2 visa
If you have an M1 or F1 visa, your dependents or spouse may be eligible for an M2 or F2 visa. An F2 study visa allows your children or spouse to enroll in an academic course and may be able to join you in the country. But while this visa permits your family members to live with you, it comes with significant restrictions. For example, while you’re free to take different degrees of employment and pursue your studies, they won’t be permitted to do so.
- J1 Visa
Like the F1 visa, this visa permits international students to obtain practical training. Most people who apply for the J1 visa are foreign exchange students and adhere to the same employment opportunities as F1 visa holders, given that they obtain permission for employment from a sponsor.
The F2 Visa
The F2 visa is a temporary, non-immigrant permit for the relatives of F1 Student visa holders. Unlike the other visa options, the F2 visa lets your spouse or children join you in the United States while also being allowed to study there. However, they are restricted from taking up different degrees of studies and employment, unlike what the F1 visa offers. That said, children may be allowed to attend secondary or elementary school while adults can engage in recreational or non-vocational courses of study.
What You Need Before Applying for A Student Visa
You must fulfill all the necessary documents and requirements before applying for a student visa. These are:
- Financial Stability
Applicants are typically required to show proof of financial report before application, regardless of whether they get a J1 or an F1 visa.
- Academic Eligibility
Visa applicants would need to do thorough research on the academic requirements of each school, including test scores from GMAT, SAT, or ACT, and the GPA they need to maintain. You may also try to surf the web if you want to research viable school options for your study.
- Health Insurance
You would also need to submit proof of medical insurance that can help cover any medical expenses that you might need during the duration of your study. If you don’t have any kind of medical insurance from your native country, make it a point to research possible choices.
How to Apply
Depending on the visa you wish to apply for, the first step will be to fill out a form. For those who want to obtain an F2 visa, for example, you will need to fill out a certificate of eligibility form for non-immigrant student status, also called Form I-20A-B.
Those who are making their applications outside the country will be required to file a DS-160 which should be turned in to your nearest consulate or embassy when you attend the interview. Then, you will need to pay the application fee and schedule your interview for immigration.
You might also be asked to submit a portfolio of supporting documents when you attend your appointment. Make sure to comply with what is requested since this can affect your application. Upon completing your interview, all you’ll need to do is wait for a decision.