255 Aragon Av. 2nd Fl., Coral Gables, Fl. 33134
305-444-7775

Student Visas: F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2

The U.S. welcomes many thousands of students from countries worldwide to its very diverse academic, language, and nonacademic institutions of learning.

We assist students of all types to select, obtain and maintain the appropriate student visa for themselves and their dependent family members. We the paperwork, guide them through the ever-changing rules and regulations, coordinate with the International Student Advisor at their school, and represent them before the INS in the U.S. as well as the consulate of their home country. We will guide students through ssues as they arise, such as the selection of schools and programs, proof of sufficient financial resources, proof of English language proficiency, changing their current visa to a student visa, the transfer from one school or program to another, employment, extensions of stay, travel, practical training, and the eventual change from a student visa to another visa, as appropriate.

The two types of student visas, F-1 and M-1, are outlined below.

Note: You do not require a student visa if you come to the U.S. as a tourist and take a class or two for recreational purposes, or if you have a spouse or parent in the U.S. who is the holder of an A, E, G, H, J, L or NATO visa.

The F-1 Visa allows you to enter the U.S. as a full-time academic or language student at a U.S. Government approved program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

F-1 Visa Privileges:

• The F-1 visa can be obtained quickly.
• You can transfer schools and change academic programs, as long as you follow INS procedures for doing so.
• You may work legally in a part-time job at the school, and it is possible to obtain special permission to work off campus if it is financially necessary, or if you will be receiving practical training for your program of study.
• You may travel freely in and out of the U.S. for the term of the visa.
• Visas may be issued to accompanying relatives.

F-1 Visa Restrictions:

• You must first be accepted by an approved school before you can apply for an F-1 visa. ( Once accepted, you can apply for your F-1 visa without leaving the U.S.)
• You cannot work legally off campus without special permission from the INS.
• You must initially attend the school for which your visa has been approved.
• Relatives may obtain visas to accompany you, but their visas do not authorize them to work.
• F-1 visas are not available for study at publicly funded elementary schools, or adult education programs, nor may you transfer to such programs after you have obtained an F-1 visa.
• You may obtain an F-1 visa to study at a publicly funded secondary school, but you must prepay the full cost of tuition for a maximum of one year.
• Persons who violate the rules regarding enrollment in public school programs, and/or payment of tuition as required will be inadmissible to the U.S. for a period of five years.

The M-1 Visa allows you to enter the U.S. as a full-time vocational or nonacademic student at a U.S. Government approved program that leads to a degree or certificate. Since vocational and nonacademic programs are generally shorter in duration than academic programs, there are more limitations to M-1 visas as compared to F-1 visas.

M-1 Visa Privileges:

• You may enter the U.S. as a full time full time vocational or nonacademic student enrolled in a program that grants a degree or certificate.
• You can transfer to another school, although INS approval to do so becomes more difficult after six months of study.
• You may obtain INS permission to work for up to six months after the completion of studies in a practical training position related to your studies.
• You may travel in and out of the U.S., or remain in the U.S. until the completion of you studies, although you must apply for an extension if you have not completed your program within one year.
• Visas may be issued to accompanying relatives.

M-1 Visa Restrictions:

• You must first be accepted by an approved school.
• You can only attend the school for which your visa has been approved.
• You can transfer schools only with special permission from the INS, and after six months of study, transfer is only possible upon a showing of very exceptional circumstances.
• You can never change your course of study.
• You may not work during your program of study.
• Relatives may obtain visas to accompany you, but their visas do not authorize them to work.