The United States offers a number of visas for those wishing to study at an accredited American University or Secondary School. Opportunities exist for study at academic schools (F-1 visa), study at vocational schools (M-1 visa), and shorter periods of study as an exchange student (J-1 visa) Student Visas. Spouses and children of F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa holders may also accompany the student to the United States. Our immigration lawyers are here to help guide you through this process.
To qualify for a student visa you must:
“SEVIS,’” the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System, is an online database maintained by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. It provides users with accurate and up-to-date information on foreign students and exchange visitors within the United States. Schools and exchange programs have the critical responsibility of ensuring all information within the database is accurate; failure to comply can have significant penalties. The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates are well versed in SEVIS and represent both schools and educational institutions in their SEVIS regulatory compliance. If you have questions about your adherence to the system and/or what you can do to better ensure your data is free of errors – contact the team at Ellaine Carr and Associates today.
Optional Practical Training allows foreign students the ability to work within the United States in a profession related to their field of study. OPT is open to students who have completed at least one year of academic studies and can be used part-time during your academic studies, or full-time within 14 months of your graduation.
Students intending to complete their OPT after graduation may apply for employment authorization as early as 90 days before graduation, or as late as 60 days after graduation.
The majority of students are entitled to 12 months of full-time OPT work. This can be achieved by:
Students who have completed studies in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) may be eligible for an additional 17 month extension of their OPT.
The J-1 non-immigrant visa is available to foreign nationals participating in work programs designated as “exchange” programs by the U.S. State Department. J-1 visa holders must be sponsored through an accredited exchange visitor program. The programs are designed to promote the exchange of arts, culture, knowledge, and science.
Examples of J-1 Exchange programs include:
To qualify for a J-1 visa program, you must:
The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates is here to help you pursue your education dreams. Upon contacting our firm we will take the time to answer all your questions and evaluate which visa option is best for you. Our team is also available to help you arrange a visa appointment, assist on application forms, prepare you for your interview, and advise on extending or changing your visa at a later date.
Traveling to the United States on a temporary basis to visit, perform business related to work in your home country, or to seek medical treatment often requires a B-1 or B-2 visa. B-1 and B-2 visa holders may be admitted into the United States for up to 6 months. There is also a possibility of a further 6-month extension.
To qualify for a B-1 or B-2 visa you must:
The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates is here to help you travel to the United States. Upon contacting our firm we will take the time to answer all your questions and evaluate which visa option is best for you. Our team is also available to help you arrange a visa appointment, assist on application forms, prepare you for your interview, and advise on extending or changing your visa at a later date.