The immigration law allows foreign nationals to study in the United States. These foreign nationals must attend a school in the United States that has been approved by the USCIS for such attendance. These schools must be approved by USCIS to enroll foreign nationals. The foreign national (student) from abroad who wishes to enter United States for the purpose of education must obtain a student visa which will be placed in the passport of the individual. The student visas are classified into two types.

F Student Visa (Academic Course)
M Student Visa (Non-academic or Vocational/Technical Course)

The F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows international students to enter the US and study at institutions certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). It is the most popular type of student visa for students seeking to study at a US university or college, and you can only apply for your F-1 visa after an accredited US institution accepts your application.

As a F-1 student, the duration of your stay will vary based on the program in which you enroll. The I-20 form provided by the university you wish to attend will list the expiration date of your program. You will need to earn your degree before the listed expiration date, and this will give you an outline of how long you will be able to remain in the US.

The M-1 “Vocational Student” visa is meant for students in vocational or other non-academic programs, other than language training.