Student Visas

Application Requirements for F-1 Student Visas

An alien who is going to pursue full-time academic studies in a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, private elementary schools, other academic institution, or language-training program in the U.S. can apply for an F-1 Visa with a U.S. consulate abroad. In order to be eligible to apply for an F-1 Visa, various documents should be submitted to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. An F-1 Visa holder is permitted to change his or her educational objectives once the visa has been approved and is also allowed to change schools without approval from U.S.C.I.S.. F-1 Visa holders can change status to other visa categories like H-1B. F-1 Visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States during their educational program, but can be authorized for employment in connection to ‘practical training’ once their studies are complete. Students who hold a degree in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are also eligible for a 17-months extension on their ‘occupational practical training.’

F-1 Visa holders are permitted to bring family members to the United States in F-2 status. 

Many times students get accepted by their school of choice but are unable to attend classes because they were denied the visa at the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The experienced immigration attorneys at Immigration Solutions LLC can help you prepare for the interview and assemble the requisite supporting evidence. Contact us today to discuss your situation.

Reinstatement of F-1 Student Status

Students studying in the United States on F-1 Visas can fall out of lawful status in a number of ways.  Dropping below a full course of study, failing to keep one’s passport renewed, or failing to properly inform an appropriate school official of one’s arrival to the U.S. or a change of address can all lead to a student falling out of status.  If a student falls out of status, he or she can be placed in removal proceedings and, potentially, deported from the United States. 

An F-1 student that has fallen out of status can apply for reinstatement of his or her F-1 status if he or she can show either that:

  1. He or she fell out of status due to circumstances beyond his or her control, or that
  2. He or she fell out of status due to a reduction in the student’s course load that would have been within a Designated School Official’s power to authorize, and that
  3. Failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student. 

A student must apply for reinstatement within five months of falling out of status, unless exceptional circumstances prevented him or her from doing so.  A student is not eligible to apply for reinstatement if he or she has worked without authorization, has a record of “repeated or willful” immigration violations, or is otherwise deportable from the United States.  

If you have fallen out of status and need advice, please contact Immigration Solutions as soon as you can.

M Visa: Vocational Student.

Unlike F-Visas, which are available to foreign students seeking to enter the United States to engage in purely academic studies, M-Visas are available to foreign students who wish to pursue vocational studies at a community college, junior college, or vocational school (including flight school, cooking school, etc.) in the U.S.  The process of obtaining an M-Visa is substantially similar to obtaining an F-Visa, insofar as students seeking an M-Visa must present a valid SEVIS 1-20 at their consular interview and must meet the same general requirements as students seeking F-Visas.

M-Visas are considerably more restrictive than F-Visas.  An M-Visa holder is not permitted to change his or her educational objectives once his or her visa has been approved, nor is he or she allowed to change schools without approval from U.S.C.I.S.  An M-Visa holder cannot reduce his or her course load without a medical reason, and is not permitted to change his or her status from M-status to F-status or, generally, to change his or her status from M-Status to H-status. 

M-Visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States during their educational program, but can be authorized, like F-1 students, for employment in connection to practical training once their studies are complete.  Employment may be authorized for either six months or for one month for every four months that the student was in school, whichever is shorter.  M-Visa holders are permitted to bring family members to the United States in M-2 status. Many times students get accepted by their school of choice but are unable to attend classes because they were denied the visa at the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The experienced immigration attorneys at Immigration Solutions LLC can help you prepare for the interview and assemble the requisite supporting evidence. Contact us today at 617-536-0584 or fill out the form at our Contact Us page.

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