A Closer Look at Student Visas

Home > Blog > A Closer Look at Student Visas

A Closer Look at Student Visas

With thousands of colleges and universities, the United States is a popular destination for students. The city of Chicago alone has many colleges, universities, and technical institutes. If you are interested in coming to the United States to study, you will need a student visa. Read on for more information.

Student Visas Available

Two visas are available to people who want to come to the United States as students – F and M. They are available for the following:

  • With an F-1 visa, you can attend a qualified United States college or university. You will need to attend full-time and can stay in the United States for 60 days after you complete your program. However, if you want to stay longer, you will need another visa.
  • With an M-1 visa, you can attend a qualified vocational school in the United States. You can also use an M-1 visa to attend certain qualified non-academic programs.

Students may also be accompanied by their spouses and/or minor children (under 21 years old), who can obtain their own F-2 or M-2 visas.

Enrolling in School While on a Different Visa

Some people come to the United States and, once here, decide that they want to attend school. They might be tempted to enroll in a degree program while still in the U.S. on another visa. For example, some enroll while on employment or tourist visas. Unfortunately, enrolling while on a B-1 or B-2 visa will result in a status violation, and you will be unable to extend your stay or switch to F-1 or M-1 status.

However, some people in the U.S. on another visa might be able to apply. For example, if you are in the States as a Treaty Trader (E status), then you can enroll in school if it does not interfere with your E status. Those interested will need to apply and satisfy the following requirements:

  • Your admission to the U.S. on nonimmigrant status was lawful.
  • Your status continues to be valid.
  • You have not violated your status.
  • You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible to change your status.

You must also meet the requirements for an F-1 or M-1 visa.

Trump and Student Visas

Having run on a tough, anti-immigrant platform, President Trump and his administration have already changed many areas of federal immigration law. This year, Trump has expressed anger at students who overstay their student visas. As a result, his administration has adopted a 10-year ban for those who overstay.

Nevertheless, the administration has not made plans to suspend awarding F-1 or M-1 visas, which would certainly draw blowback from the large educational community in the U.S. However, if you are from a country listed on Trump’s travel ban, you could have your visa revoked.

Interested Students Should Call Us Today

At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have helped many students obtain visas that allow them to study in the United States. We can also discuss whether you qualify for a change of status. To speak with one of our Chicago immigration attorneys, please reach out to us today.