Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You must have a student visa to study in the United States. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa.
|To enter the United States to attend:||You need the following visa category:|
|University or college||F|
|Private elementary school|
|Another academic institution, including a language training program|
|Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program||M|
Students cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program or with Visitor Visas
Citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating countries who intend to study cannot travel on the VWP or on visitor (B) visas, except to undertake recreational study as part of a tourist visit. Students must travel to the United States with student (F-1 or M-1) visas. For more information on the VWP, see Visa Waiver Program.
For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa may be appropriate
Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate, is permitted on a visitor (B) visa. Learn more about Visitor Visas.
Study leading to a U.S. conferred degree or certificate is not permitted on a visitor (B) visa, even if it is for a short duration. For example, distance learning which requires a period of time on the institution’s U.S. campus requires an F-1 visa.
Application Fee $160
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 – Your school will send you a SEVIS-generated Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students, their spouse and minor children if they intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Each person receives an individual Form I-20.
Additional Documentation May Be Required
Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish that you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:
- Your academic preparation, such as:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended; and
- Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school;
- Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
- How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
Most Comment Visa Types to The U.S.A.
- Tourism and Visit Visa to the U.S.A.
- Family-Based Immigrant Visas to the U.S.A.
- Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S.A. Citizen
- Employment-Based Immigrant Visa to the U.S.A.
- Student Visa to the U.S.A.
- Business Visa to the U.S.A.
- Temporary Worker Visas to the U.S.A.
- Treaty Trader & Investor Visa to the U.S.A.
- Transit Visa to the U.S.A.
- Non-immigrant Visa for Spouse and Children of Resident to the U.S.A.
- Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé to the U.S.A.
- Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse to the U.S.A.
- Border Crossing Card Visa to the U.S.A.
- Crew Member Visa to the U.S.A.
- Exchange Visitor Visa to the U.S.A.
- Only Transitional Worker Visa to the U.S.A.
- Returning Resident Visas to the U.S.A.
- Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and AfghanTranslators to the U.S.A.
- Temporary Religious Worker Visa to the U.S.A.
- Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials Visas to the U.S.A.
- International Organizations & NATO Employees Visas to the U.S.A.
- Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity to the U.S.A.
- Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking to the U.S.A.