Study Visa Explained

Study Visa Explained

What is the American Study Visa?

Anyone planning to study in the United States may be granted one of the three international student visa types: F1 Visa, J1 Visa, or M1 Visa. "What visa do you need to work as an international student in the United States?" you might wonder. The F1 and J1 visas provide work opportunities but do not guarantee them. The M1 Visa, on the other hand, does not allow for employment. We've broken down each of these three types of foreign student visas so you can understand how they will affect your life in the United States.

What are the different kinds of international student visas?

  • F1 Visa
    Academic Studies
    : The "F" visa is intended for academic purposes. Students enrolled in an academic program or an English language program are granted an F1 visa. In the United States, F1 visas are by far the most frequent type of international student visa. F1 students must maintain a full-time course load to maintain their designation. Part-time on-campus job is possible with F1 status (fewer than 20 hours per week). Students can also work on optional practical training (OPT) for up to a year after finishing their academic degree. Students must complete their studies before the I-20 form's expiration date (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

    F1 Visa Qualifications, Requirements, Rules, Status

  • J1 Visa
    Practical Training
    : Students who need practical training that is not accessible in their home country to finish their academic program are granted a J1 visa. As long as the exchange visitor program sponsor gives authorization, J-1 student status allows for similar employment as the F1 visa, with identical restrictions.

    J1 Visa Qualifications, Requirements, Rules, Status

  • M1 Visa
    Vocational StudiesH-2A Visa
    : A student who wishes to attend a non-academic or vocational school is granted an M1 visa. M-1 visa holders enrolled in technical or vocational programs are prohibited from working throughout their education. M-1 student visa applicants must show that they have sufficient finances to cover all tuition and living expenses for the duration of their proposed stay.

    M1 Visa Qualifications, Requirements, Rules, Status

  • O-1 visa
    O1 visa is for individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and who have been recognized nationally or internationally for their accomplishments.

    O-1 Visa Qualifications, Requirements, Rules, Status

  • P-1 Visa
    The P1 visa is granted to individuals or teams of athletes who wish to engage in various sporting programs in the United States while also promoting themselves, their team, and their sport. It is also created for entertainers to participate in various entertainment shows, tournaments, and other activities, whether they are individuals or in groups. The circus, for example, is an example of an entertainment group.

    O-1 Visa Qualifications, Requirements, Rules, Status

How do I apply for a student visa?

You must first examine your university's admission policies before putting together your student visa application. Remember the following points:

Academic Qualifications: 
Academic qualifying requirements vary each school. Your school's criteria will be communicated to you. If you're still looking at different institutions, the USA School Search can help you look into overall academic standing and test results.

Financial Stability:
You must demonstrate that you can support yourself without working.

Health Insurance:

If you require medical care, you may be required to present proof of health insurance to cover any medical expenditures.

How Long Can You Remain in the United States After Graduation?

Students holding F visas must leave the US within 60 days of the program end date specified on Form I-20, according to US immigration law. Students on J and M visas must depart the United States within 30 days of the program end date specified on their Form I-20. If you want to stay longer in the United States, you can apply for a visa extension on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. We urge that you investigate your visa possibilities after graduation before requesting a visa extension.

How You Can Change Your Visa Status

While living in the US, your plans may change and you might have to change your visa status. If you wish to do this at any time while living in the US, you do not have to apply for a new visa. You must request to change your nonimmigrant status through USCIS. We recommend that you notify your Designated School Official (DSO) about your desire to change as it’s important that your school is aware of any changes to your nonimmigrant status, and your DSO can help you through the process.

What is Labor Conditions Application?

A company that plans to hire a foreign worker must submit a Labor Conditions Application (LCA) or Certification to the US Department of Labor. The LCA allows the company to hire and sponsor personnel who are not US citizens or LPRs.

The LCA states that the employer needs to hire a foreign worker because no American worker is available, qualified, or willing to work in that position.


It further stipulates that the foreign worker's salary will be comparable to that of a US worker, and that the foreign worker would not be subjected to discrimination or a hostile working environment.

What is a Petition for Employment?

A US corporation that wishes to sponsor a foreign worker for an employment visa submits an employment petition. The petition is sent to USCIS for processing and includes information about the foreign worker's job, income, and credentials.


When a US employer submits an employment petition, the fees for processing and sponsoring the employee must also be paid. They must also attach supporting documents demonstrating that the company can afford to recruit a foreign worker, that all taxes have been paid, and that a Labor Certification Application (LCA) has been acquired from the Department of Labor.

What is a Letter of Employment Authorization?

Nonimmigrant visa holders in the United States are required to get a work permit before they can begin working. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a work permit that can be issued immediately after your visa has been accepted in the United States.

For the duration of your visa, the EAD allows you to work legally in any US company. If you and your spouse both meet the requirements, you can apply for an EAD. You must also apply for a renewal of your EAD when you renew or extend your visa. Visit the EAD article for instructions on how to apply.


I hope this information was useful. Complex immigration processing can be incredibly complicated and stressful for everyone. Before filing this application, you should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. can assist you and will be there for you every step of the journey. Please contact us via phone or email.