Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt | Attorneys At Law

Student visas and education-related immigration issues

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Immigration, US Immigration Law |

International students planning to study in Florida must obtain the correct visa. The most common types are the F-1 and M-1 visas. It’s essential to understand the requirements and processes for each visa. This ensures a smooth transition to studying in the United States.

Requirements for F-1 and M-1 visas

Both F-1 and M-1 visas have specific requirements that students must meet:

  • Admission to a U.S. school: Students must attend approved institutions. Students with an F-1 visa must go to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school. Those with an M-1 visa must go to a qualifying vocational program. The school must provide a Form I-20, which the student will use to apply for the visa.
  • Proof of financial support: Applicants must show they can support themselves financially. They need funds to cover tuition and living expenses for the entire duration of the program. Acceptable documentation includes bank statements, scholarship letters, or affidavits of support from sponsors.
  • English proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English. This often involves taking standardized tests such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Students will have to meet the minimum score requirements set by their program. If they don’t reach these scores, they may need to enroll in courses to improve their language skills first.
  • Intent to return home: Students must prove they intend to return to their home country after completing their studies. Evidence can include property ownership, job offers, or other connections to their country. This ensures students use the visa for its intended purpose: temporary educational endeavors.

Maintaining status

Maintaining visa status is crucial for students. This requires remaining enrolled full-time at their institution. Students must also report any changes in address, program, or school if necessary. Understanding and adhering to employment regulations during their studies is also important.

The education-related immigration issues students face often stem from failure to meet guidelines. For instance, M-1 international students cannot change their program or course of study. They also must leave the United States within 30 days after their program ends. F-1 international students can stay for up to 60 days after their program ends. While they can work during their studies, they need to gain permission first. 

The importance of proper planning

Navigating the complexities of student visas and related immigration issues can be challenging. However, understanding and following visa requirements helps international students achieve their academic goals. Students who are unsure of the guidelines should seek professional advice early. Proper planning and attention to detail will ensure a successful educational experience.



FindLaw Network