Types of US Student Visas

There are three categories of visas available for education in the USA:

(1) F-1 (Student Visa): The F-1 visa is for full-time students who want to study in the USA and are enrolled in an academic or language program. Students holding an F-1 visa can stay in the USA for the full length of their academic program plus 60 days. Students must maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on their I-20 form. Apply for a multiple entry F-1 student visa, as you will be able travel between US and India any number of times while pursuing a program.

(2) M Visa (Non-Academic or Vocational Studies): This visa is appropriate for people who want to study or train at a non-academic institution in the USA, such as an apprenticeship or a finishing school.

(3) J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa): The J-1 visa is issued to students who need practical training that is not available in their home country in order to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to their academic program. In the J-1 visa, the student is obliged to return to their home country for a minimum of two years after the end of their studies in the USA before becoming eligible to apply for an immigrant (permanent residence) visa