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The Type of USA International Students Visa Needed to Study Abroad – Getting the Right Visa



The United States International Students Visa

The United States is one of the most sorts after nations for education by international students making it mandatory for all international students to have a US Visa for full acceptance in the USA institutions.

All student visa applicants must be accepted and approved by their school or program before applying for a visa. Once accepted, educational institutions will send each applicant the approval documentation that they will need to submit when applying for a student visa.



The Three Primary Students Visa in the United States

There are three types of Visas available for international students. Your type of study program will determine the type of Visa you should process.


Types of USA Visa

  • F-1 Student Visa: for study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language institute
  • J-1 Exchange Visa: for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study
  • M-1 Student Visa: for non-academic or vocational study or training in the United States



Valid student visas are required to apply for admission to the United States at the port of entry to the Department of Homeland Security. Students’ Form I-20 (F and M visas) or DS-2019 (J visas) documents issued by their institution are what allow them to maintain student status in the United States even if their visa expires during their studies.



U.S. institutions must be certified by the Department of Homeland Security SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) (F, M visas) or designated by the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (J visas) to issue I-20 or DS-2019 documentation for student visas.

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What Type of Visa Do I Need to Process for Academic Studies?

The type of Visa you need to process if you have the intention of coming to the United States for academic pursuit or degree programmes is the F-1 Visa.

F-1 Visa is highly recommended as this will favor your stay in the United States and may grant you the privilege to enjoy other opportunities available for US international students.




Although an institution may be certified by SEVP to issue I-20s (F, M visas), it may not be nationally or regionally accredited. Accreditation is linked to the recognition of course credits and degrees by other institutions as well as by US and international employers. All U.S. institutions’ accreditation is listed in the databases of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It is important to note that institutions that have been designated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to place participants in Academic Exchange programs (J visas) must be accredited.



Government Agencies that Manage the Processing of International Students’ Visa

Two separate government agencies in the United States manage international students’ arrival and status while studying in the country. The initial visa application and issuance are handled by the US Department of State. Once a visa holder arrives in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is in charge of granting entry into the country as well as enforcing immigration regulations that affect international students once they arrive.



Now that you have known this, ensure you do not make mistakes while making your Visa application to the United States.

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