Study in the United States: F-1, M-1, J-1 Visas

The United States offers a number of visas for those wishing to study at an accredited American University or Secondary School. Opportunities exist for study at academic schools (F-1 visa), study at vocational schools (M-1 visa), and shorter periods of study as an exchange student (J-1 visa). Spouses and children of F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa holders may also accompany the student to the United States.

Student Visa Requirements

To qualify for a student visa you must:

  • Enroll in an accredited school or university;
  • Demonstrate you are intending to return to the Philippines or home country after your program ends;
  • Provide proof of financial support while in the United States.

SEVIS Compliance

“SEVIS,’” the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System, is an online database maintained by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. It provides users with accurate and up-to-date information on foreign students and exchange visitors within the United States. Schools and exchange programs have the critical responsibility of ensuring all information within the database is accurate; failure to comply can have significant penalties. The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates are well versed in SEVIS and represent both schools and educational institutions in their SEVIS regulatory compliance. If you have questions about your adherence to the system and/or what you can do to better ensure your data is free of errors – contact the team at Ellaine Carr and Associates today.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training allows foreign students the ability to work within the United States in a profession related to their field of study. OPT is open to students who have completed at least one year of academic studies and can be used part-time during your academic studies, or full-time within 14 months of your graduation.

Students intending to complete their OPT after graduation may apply for employment authorization as early as 90 days before graduation, or as late as 60 days after graduation.

Length of OPT

The majority of students are entitled to 12 months of full-time OPT work. This can be achieved by:

  • 12 months of full time work after graduation; or
  • Part-time work (20 hours per week) during the school year (every 2 months of part time work equates to one month of full time work); or
  • A combination of the above two options.

STEM

Students who have completed studies in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) may be eligible for an additional 17 month extension of their OPT.

J-1 Programs

The J-1 non-immigrant visa is available to foreign nationals participating in work programs designated as “exchange” programs by the U.S. State Department. J-1 visa holders must be sponsored through an accredited exchange visitor program. The programs are designed to promote the exchange of arts, culture, knowledge, and science.

Examples of J-1 Exchange programs include:

  • Au Pairs
  • Camp Counselors
  • Interns
  • Physicians
  • Professors
  • Research Assistants
  • Summer Work and Travel
  • Teachers
  • Trainees

J-1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for a J-1 visa program, you must:

  • Be accepted into one of the J-1 exchange programs (Au Pair, Professor, etc.) by an accredited J-1 visa program sponsor;
  • Demonstrate you are intending to return to the Philippines or home country after your program ends;
  • Provide proof of financial support while in the United States; and
  • Have medical insurance that will cover accidents and/or illness while in the United States.

The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates is here to help you pursue your education dreams. Upon contacting our firm we will take the time to answer all your questions and evaluate which visa option is best for you. Our team is also available to help you arrange a visa appointment, assist on application forms, prepare you for your interview, and advise on extending or changing your visa at a later date.

Travel to the United States

Traveling to the United States on a temporary basis to visit, perform business related to work in your home country, or to seek medical treatment often requires a B-1 or B-2 visa. B-1 and B-2 visa holders may be admitted into the United States for up to 6 months. There is also a possibility of a further 6-month extension.

To qualify for a B-1 or B-2 visa you must:

  • Demonstrate you intend to return to your home country after your temporary period of travel;
  • Have the financial resources necessary to support yourself while you are in the United States; and
  • You reside outside the United States.

The team at Ellaine Carr and Associates is here to help you travel to the United States. Upon contacting our firm we will take the time to answer all your questions and evaluate which visa option is best for you. Our team is also available to help you arrange a visa appointment, assist on application forms, prepare you for your interview, and advise on extending or changing your visa at a later date.