Study abroad brings great career opportunities on your way. In India, the dream of many students is to broaden their horizon and get exposure to cross-cultural experience by studying in abroad.
The USA has become the most popular study abroad destination for Indian Students as the country has introduced flexibility in their H1B visa for candidates who hold an advanced degree from the USA university. However, the first step is to understand the legalities of visas and student permits in the USA.
• The “F” visa is for academic studies. An F1 visa is issued to students who are attending an academic program or the English Language Program.
• F1 visa is by far the most common form of international student visa in the U.S. F1 students must maintain the minimum course load for full-time student status. F-1 status allows for part-time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week). Additionally, students can work on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for up to one year after completion of their academic program.
• Students are expected to complete their studies by the expiration date on the I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status).
• Till six months or by the time you get a social security number you will not be allowed to do a part-time job off-campus, though you can work on-campus.
• Spouses or children accompanying F-1 visa recipients will travel on an F-2 visa
• Spouses are not able to work but may accompany and/or apply for their own visa to the U.S. to work or study
• For students, visiting scholars or lecturers pursuing an exchange program. For example, Fulbright scholars and many students on short-term study abroad programs from Indian universities will travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa.
• Usually sought by working professionals who go to the US on an exchange program, hence the name Exchange Visitor Visa.
• May include a 10-month vocational training or some research fellowship, etc. Whichever be the case, the applicants would be notified for the same by the respective institutions.
• Spouses or children accompanying J-1 Visa recipients will travel on a J-2 Visa. Please note that spouses are able to work when permission is obtained in advance
• An M1 visa is issued to a student who is going to attend a non-academic or vocational school.
• M-1 visa holders for technical and vocational programs are not permitted to work during the course of their studies.
• Applicants for an M-1 student visa must provide evidence that sufficient funds are readily available with them to pay all tuition fees and living costs for the entire period of intended stay.
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