If you are seeking to obtain student visas or have any questions regarding immigration, contact a New York immigration attorney from Pozo Goldstein, LLP.

A student visa is often sought for a number of different reasons. When a student visa is received, the recipient generally has the desire to attend a college, university or grad school somewhere in the United States. Another benefit to a student visa is that the recipient will be able to work in some environments part time while attending school. If the student is seeking to enroll in an educational program that requires 18 hours per week or less, then the student only needs a visitor visa.

The two main types of student visas include the following:

  • F-1 Academic Student: This is geared towards students looking to become a full-time student at any level of schooling (from elementary school to university). To become eligible for this, you must be enrolled in a course that will result in some sort of degree, diploma or certificate.
  • M-1 Vocational Student: This is a visa created for students who are attending a vocational school or some other form of nonacademic program. Applicants must still be attending with a full course load and must be a full-time student.
  • Criteria for F-1 and M-1 Visas

  • Enrolled in an academic, language or vocational program.
  • Attending a school that’s been approved by the USCIS.
  • Enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Either proficient in English or studying English.
  • Have finances to support yourself during study.
  • Maintain a residence abroad with no intention to lose it.
  • All students who are looking to receive a student visa, before applying, must become SEVP certified. This is done through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and allows for monitoring of all students who enter as nonimmigrants into the United States with the purpose of fulfilling an educational role. To apply for a student visa, the applicant must have an I-20 Form generated by the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS); students, however, are not responsible for filling out this firm as it is the responsibility of their school.

    When to Apply: Timeframes & Time Limits

    Applying for a student visa is a delicate process that should be handled under equally delicate care. As such, we encourage interested students to apply for this type of visa as early as possible so as to ensure that there is ample time to process the request before making any kind of physical transition. As soon as you are ready to do so, you can apply for a student visa. Therefore, we suggest enlisting the help of a qualified attorney in order to ensure that the preparation you need is delivered to you in a timely fashion.

    Important to note regarding the application for a student visa is the fact that Embassies and Consulates can issue these types of visas within 120 days or less of the registration date for the course of study under consideration. Students who apply prematurely, i.e. before the 120-day mark of a course’s registration date, can expect the Embassy or Consulate that receives your application to put it on hold until time allows for the legal issuance of a visa. The interim time will be used by the Embassy or Consulate to complete application processes.

    Entering the U.S.

    After your student visa application has been accepted, you will be advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which sets the regulations pertaining to when students can legally enter the U.S. to fulfill their student visa. As permitted by the Department of Homeland Security, initial / beginning students can enter the U.S. 30 days (or less) prior to beginning their course of study. This date is determined by the start dates and / or registration dates that are denoted on the Form I-20.

    Students who wish to enter the U.S. earlier than the 30 days allotted by the Department of Homeland Security may be able to do so by obtaining a visitor visa. If you plan to do this, however, you must clearly state your intent to study in the U.S. during your communications with the U.S. immigration inspector at your port of entry. Once you are in the country, you must also be sure to have your status changed from an Exchange Visitor to a Student Visitor. This can be accomplished by filling out the Form I-539, Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status. You will also be asked to pay a fee for this service.

    If you fail to change your status from an Exchange Visitor, you will not be permitted to begin your studies. Therefore, it is very important that you complete this process in the proper amount of time. Students who wish to stay in the U.S. for the purpose of continuing their studies can do so assuming that they maintain their student status and they keep their SEVIS records current.

    Loss & Reinstatement of a Student Visa

    As decreed by official United States immigration law, certain violations can result in the loss of a student visa. There are a number of reasons that could lead to the loss of a student visa, some of which include situations in which the:

  • Student did not actually attend school while in the U.S.
  • Student did not maintain full-time status as a student, with a schedule to match this status
  • Student did not attend the school that was listed on his or her I-20 form
  • Student did not inform the Internal Division of a change of address within the appropriate amount of time
  • Student allowed his or her I-20 form to expire
  • While not all immigrants whose student visas are lost because they have violated one or more of the requirements expected of them will be permitted to reinstate the visa, some will. The guidelines that must be met in order for the reinstatement of a visa to be approved are as follows:

  • Student’s application for reinstatement must be made within five months of being out of status
  • Student must have no record of repeated and / or flagrant violations of immigration regulations
  • Student must not have obtained unlawful employment of any sort
  • Student must be pursuing a full course load – or at least be intending to do so in the near future – at the school that is listed on his or her I-20 form
  • Student has taken no actions that would otherwise call for deportation
  • Student has established for the USCIS that the violation occurred because of circumstances that were beyond his or her control; or student’s course load was reduced but would most likely have been approved by an authorized agent if he or she had been allowed to show extreme hardship
  • If you are facing the loss of your student visa, then you should not wait speak with a professional immigration attorney at our office. The task of having your visa reinstated can be difficult, especially without the help of an experienced lawyer. Therefore, we urge you to speak with an attorney at our office as soon as possible.

    Visitors Enrolling in Short Recreational Study

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not require foreign citizens who will be enrolling in a short recreational course of study to obtain a Student Visa. Instead, individuals who plan to come to the U.S. for study in a course that does not grant credit toward a degree or academic certificate may obtain a visitor B-2 Visa. Educational courses that count toward a U.S. conferred degree or certificate are not permitted on a Visitor B visa, even if the course is for a short duration. F-1 student visas will be required for these situations.

    In order to obtain a B-2 visitor visa for non-degree educational study, foreign nationals must demonstrate the purpose of their visit, their plans for remaining in the county for a limited period of time, the necessary funds to cover expenses during their stay, sufficient reason for returning to their home country, and proof of their admissibility. B-2 visas are most appropriate for foreign national tourists who wish to participate in a short educational program during their visit. Examples of these types of courses may include an English languagge education class or a cooking class, among others. Our firm can provide you with the information and assistance needed to apply for a B-2 visitor visa.

    Get the Involvement of a New York Visa Attorney Today

    There are many difficult requirements in order to obtain a student visa, as well as many other visas. If you are seeking to obtain a visa of any kind, or you have any question regarding immigration, then contact a New York immigration attorney from Pozo Goldstein, LLP. Our firm will be able to assist you by answering any questions you have, or to represent your case in court as well as assist you in your application process. We offer a free in-house case evaluation as well as 24/7 contact availability.

  • F-1 Academic Student
  • M-1 Vocational Student
  • Violation of Immigration Status