As an international student or foreign national, you will generally need a visa to enter the USA for any length of time. The visa category for most international students is F1, and we have more information on that and other categories below. International students visas are issued and regulated by USCIS, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the whole process of obtaining a visa to either study in the USA or to work can be quite daunting. The International Student Visa and Immigration Center has been established to provide our visitors with the right information concerning their student or work visa.
There are general requirements to gain entry into the USA, in addition to the specific requirements of each visa category. In general you must be:
- Healthy - No inoculations are required to enter the US, unless you were recently in a country with epidemics such as cholera and yellow fever.
- Law-abiding - Criminal behavior is grounds for deportation.
- Able to support yourself financially during your stay.
- You intend to leave the US after you complete your studies.
Learn more about the three main student visas for the USA, how to apply and when they are needed:
The F1 Visa is the most popular/ common visa that is issued to incoming students into the USA. Generally it is issued to students who are coming to the USA to study on an academic program or to come to learn English as a Second Language. F1 students must maintain full-time student status. Learn More
The J1 Visa is issued to students who need to have practical training as part of the academic program; however, there is also a large program called the “Work/ Travel Program” under the J1 Visa where students can come to the USA for three to four months to gain employment and travel the USA. Learn More
An M1 visa is issued to a student who is going to attend a non-academic or vocational school. Learn More
An H-1B visa is commonly issued to non-US citizens who will be working in specialty occupations that require a high theoretical or technical experience. Learn More
If you want to study law as an international student, please check out our study law center where you can find information about the legal education system in the USA, courses you need to take in the USA, the international LLM and much more!