Student visas

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Foreign students are an economic asset to the American educational system. They also introduce a welcomed diversity to the lives of their peers. Students pursuing academic degrees are generally given F-1 visas. Those enrolled in vocational institutions receive M-1 visas. Spouses and children of these visa holders may be eligible for visas and entry for the same length of time as the student. Admission to the United States as an F-1 student will generally be for the amount of time they're pursuing a full course of study in any educational program. This time period will also include an additional 60 days to give the student time to leave the United States. An M-1 student will be admitted to the U-S for the period of time necessary to complete the course of study plus 30 days, or for a period of one year, whichever is less. Students who are part of an exchange program involving study, receive J-1 visas. Often, there's a two-year home residence requirement for anyone who's in the United States on a J-1 visa. This means that the student must return to his or her home country for at least two years before applying for a different immigration status in the United States. To obtain a student visa, you must first be accepted by an accredited institution, get an I-20-A-B form from the institution, and document your financial ability to attend the school without employment. There's a relatively complex set of rules which apply only to foreign students. These rules must be followed in order to maintain your status. Usually, your foreign student advisor at school can help you. For more information, contact an attorney qualified as a specialist, in this area of the law.

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