Understanding Student Visa Laws

If you are one of the many foreign-national students interested in coming to the United States for your education, you will need to familiarize yourself with this country’s immigration laws and how they affect you. The following should help you prepare yourself for pursuing education options in America.

Securing Your Visa

First, in order to legally come to the Unites States for educational purposes, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa. This is available to all non-immigrant foreign-national students seeking scholastic opportunities in the US. (Additionally, an F-2 visa is available to spouses and children of the holder of an F-1 visa). To qualify for this, you must have already been accepted into a program in this country, and you cannot be enrolled only part time. You must also speak strong English, or be enrolled in an English-language program to bolster your proficiency.

Proof of Residence

The second major condition for securing an educational visa is to prove that you maintain a residency abroad in your home country. This is important because the F-1 does not provide for immigration; the end goal should be for you to complete your studies, earn your degree, and then return to your home country. Proving that you maintain a residence there is a key to earning the opportunity to study in the US.

Ways to prove a residence in your home country include:

• Providing information about your family and your family’s home

• Showing connections to educational institutions in your home country

• Showing ties to organizations in your home town or country

If you meet these requirements, you should be qualified to petition for an F-1 visa.