STUDY OR EXCHANGE
STUDY OR EXCHANGE VISAS IN THE U.S.
TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES
Studying in America is the dream of millions of people. After all, no other country has so many prestigious academic institutions. To have an idea, 8 of the world’s leading universities are located in the U.S.
The U.S. government created several programs to encourage the study and exchange of foreign students. Whether for to get your bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree, or simply to participate in a summer work and travel program, or intensive English course, studying in the United States is certainly going to broaden your cultural horizons and qualify your resume for future professional opportunities.
The first step in applying for a student or exchange visa (F, M, or J) is to enroll in a higher education institution in the United States, and be certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
After being accepted by the desired institution, the applicant will receive a form (I-20 or DS-2019, depending on the course) to present along with the other required documents when applying for their student or exchange visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
As with other temporary visas, it will be up to the American consular officer to judge the applicant’s qualifications at the time of the interview.
LEARN ABOUT THE 3 TYPES OF VISAS FOR STUDY OR EXCHANGE:
F-1: VISA TO STUDY IN AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION
This type of visa is granted to international students who will acquire a full university degree at an American university. With this visa, during the first year of the course, the student is allowed to work within the university campus for 20 hours per week throughout the school period and 40 hours during the holidays. The student can accept a position in a commercial company that has a contract with the university, for example, or even work directly for the university as an assistant to a professor or perform a job that is part of his/her scholarship, fellowship or doctorate.
After a year of studying under the F-1 visa, the student can already work off campus. That would be the basic rule for those who have an F-1, however, there are exceptions and a student can apply for permission to work off campus in the first year of the course if he/she proves financial difficulty and proves that he/she was not possible to get any job within campus.
For that, it is necessary to contact the USCIS and apply for a work permit that costs $380, takes 90 days to be granted and is valid for one year.
J-1: EXCHANGE VISA
The J-1 visa is granted to international students who will come to the United States to participate in an exchange program. Under this visa you are allowed to work while studying, but only within campus and in job openings that are part of a scholarship, fellowship, or as academic assistants. Under this visa you are not allowed to work in partner companies, only in exceptional cases as with students in financial difficulties.
M-1: VISA TO STUDY IN VOCACIONAL COURSES
The M-1 visa is for students who will go to the United States for vocational courses, which are intended for those who have already completed high school and seek knowledge and qualifications in specific areas. This visa does not give the student the right to work. However, there are some exceptions, you can accept a job opening that can be considered practical training of your area of study for up to six months after the completion of your course, as an intern in Brazil.
In addition, you can opt for an OPT (Optional Practical Training), which is also a training in an area you have studied and is usually granted to students with J-1 visas. However, with permission, it can also be used by those who have an M-1 visa.