Overview

If you wish to attend a US university, high school or community college you must obtain a visa first.

The type of visa to continue your education in United States is a F1 or a M visa. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa. Please see below.

To enter the United States to attend: You need the following visa category:
University or college F
High School
Private elementary school
Seminary
Conservatory
Another academic institution, including a language training program
Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program M


For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa may be appropriate

Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate, is permitted on a visitor (B) visa.

For example, a short language course while you are visiting a cousin in the States.
Study leading to a U.S. conferred degree or certificate is not permitted on a visitor (B) visa, even if it is for a short duration. For example, distance learning which requires a period of time on the institution’s U.S. campus requires an F-1 visa.

IMPORTANT : Student Acceptance at a SEVP Approved School before applying to a Student VISA

Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F or M student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school.

When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Form I-20 to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the United States while you study, they must obtain individual Form I-20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee.