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Understanding student visas - I

Earlier this week, our blog spent some time discussing how the Trump administration's proposed travel ban could have an adverse impact on the number of young people coming here to the U.S. to pursue some manner of study.

As we discussed in a post last week, however, the most recent iteration of the travel ban was once again blocked from taking effect by the courts over constitutional concerns, suggesting that those young people with dreams of coming here to learn perhaps shouldn't be too quick to abandon hope.

In recognition of this reality, today's post, the first in a series, will take a closer look at the F-1 and M-1 visas, one of which that those looking to study here in the U.S. on a full-time basis will need to secure.

In general, an F-1 visa enables the holder to enter the U.S. as a full-time academic student enrolled in any accredited university, college, conservatory, seminary, academic high school, elementary school, other academic institution, or language training program.

It's important to note, however, that the institution must be authorized by the federal government to accept international students, and that you must be enrolled in a program designed to culminate in the awarding of a diploma, degree or certificate.  

As for the M-1 visa, it enables the holder to enter the U.S. as a full-time vocational student, meaning to pursue an education at an institution that provides training on how to perform the tasks or duties associated with a certain job or trade.

Our next post will explore some of the baseline requirements that must be satisfied in order to secure either one of these student visas and the employment opportunities that may be pursued.

If you have questions about pursuing an education here in the U.S. or another immigration-related matter, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can answer your questions and pursue solutions. 

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