Types of US Visas for International students

VIIf you intend to study in the USA as an international student, you would need to first apply for admissions and receive an offer from a US based institution before applying for a student visa. However, if you intend to work and study in the US, existing  US visa regulations may not favor you depending on the type of visa you traveled in with.That said, let’s examine the types of visas available for international students and the possibility of working with it in the USA.

F-1 Student Visa

This student visa which is otherwise known as Academic Student Visa would allow you to live in the U.S. only if you are a full-time student, either at a recognized university or college, conservatory, seminary, elementary school, high school, or any other recognized academic institution. However, to be eligible and qualify for this visa, you would be required  to enroll in a course or program that will eventually culminate in a certificate, diploma, or diploma. Also, the school you are applying to must have authorization from the U.S. government to enroll international students.

When it comes to employment, the current USA visa rules do not allow F-1 student visa holders to work out-of- campus during their first academic year. What this means is that if you intend to apply for F-1 student visa or if you already hold one, the current USA visa rules may allow you to work some out-of-campus jobs after your first academic year but only when the jobs are related to the following courses:

  • Engineering, mathematics, science and technology
  • Curricular practical training
  • Optional practical training

However, please note the underlisted jobs as some of which F-1 student holders are exempted from working:

  • gas station
  • hotels and motels
  • liquor store

Engaging in jobs that the current USA visa rules consider illegal or risky for students might  to deportation.No international student would like that.

The M-1 Student Visa

The M-1 student visa is a vocational student visa and is issued to mainly students who wish to acquire non-academic or vocational training in the U.S.M-1 student visa holders are prohibited by the current USA visa rules to engage in practical training while still partaking their vocational training and just like F-1 student holders, M-1 students, and their off-campus jobs must be related to what they are studying and must first be authorized by the Designated School Official.

Just like F-1 students, M-1 students who choose to work without proper authorization might be forced to leave the country immediately and may never be able to apply for any type of US visa in their lifetime.

Once you’ve completed your education, both F-1 and M-1 are required to leave the U.S. or seek legal advice if they decide to extend their stay in the US legally. According to the current USA visa rules F-1 students have a maximum of 60 days after completion of their programs to leave the country, while M-1 students have only 30 days after which they may face legal action unless they have already filed for an extension.


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