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Student (F1 M)

The United States makes visas are available to students (F-1 and M visas) and participants in exchange programs (J-1 visas). Varying rights and obligations attach to the different types of visas. For instance, recipients of certain types of student visas are allowed to work for a certain period of time while recipients of certain exchange visas are required to return to their country of origin for two years after their visa expires. For this reason, it is important that each visa applicant carefully consider his / her visa options.


The type of visa available to students depends on each student’s intended course of study and the type of school the student plans to attend. Students may avail themselves of one of the following visa categories:


  • F-1: Academic Students - Available to students who intend to attend university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or another academic institution, including a language training program;


  • M: Vocational Students – Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program.


Applicants for a student visa must first apply to, and be accepted by, a school approved by the U.S. government for participation in the F-1 and M student visa programs. Only after acceptance may students apply for an F-1 or M visa.

How We Can Help

We help our clients select the type of visa that is appropriate to their circumstances and guide them through the petition process. Upon expiration of student or exchange program visas, we can counsel our clients regarding changes in their visa status. We can also provide services with respect to the CPT and OPT process and waivers of the two-year home stay requirement for J-1 visa holders. In addition to our legal expertise, our language skills in Spanish and Portuguese make us particularly helpful to our Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese clients.

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