Answers to 4 Common Student Visa FAQs

Answers to 4 Common Student Visa FAQs

There are countless reasons that individuals from around the world seek a student visa, but that does not mean that the process is always easy or completely transparent.


In order to comply with the laws and restrictions of all nations involved, it is vital to understand a variety of rules and regulations that will ensure a smooth experience that is not negatively impacted by any unforeseen roadblocks. In order to address some of the most obvious student visa FAQs, read the sections below and pay attention to all of the relevant details.


4 Common Student Visa FAQs

In order to get the most out of an international education, it is vital to have a clear understanding of all of the ins and outs associated with securing the right type of student visa. After reviewing the following student visa FAQs, it will be much easier to figure out the best path forward for anyone seeking such an arrangement.

Question 1: How Long Does a Student Visa Last?

The length of a student visa can vary based on the type of visa as well as the behavior of the visa holder upon entering the United States. For example, a typical F-1 visa can last for as long as five years.

Even this is not necessarily the longest term that an international resident can maintain the protections of a student visa, however. If there is some type of unavoidable delay in the educational process, there is the possibility of receiving an extension.

Student visa holders can legally enter the U.S. with such a visa up to 30 days before they start classes and may stay as long as 60 days after they graduate. Although these individuals may use this time to travel across the country, they may not work while holding an F-1 visa.

Question 2: How Much Does It Cost?

In total, it costs a bit more than $500 per application for an F-1 student visa. This includes the fee for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System that must be completed first. From there, applicants will need to spend more on the so-called DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application

During this process, individuals are required to submit a photo and other relevant documentation. There could also be reciprocity fees due at the U.S. consulate, which are likely to vary depending on the nation of origin. 

If students need additional assistance from a legal expert or some other trusted professional, these service fees could mean that the cost of a student visa would be even more expensive.

“Contact an attorney for proper guidance during the Student Visa application process in the U.S.”

Question 3: What Is the Difference Between F-1 and M-1 Student Visas?

One of the major student visa FAQs that individuals abroad encounter before submitting an application relates to whether they should apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa. Although both of these options cover individuals who want to study in the United States, they relate to two different types of education.

The F-1 visa is used for academic students and allows individuals to study full-time at a college, university, or other accredited institutes.

In order to abide by the restrictions of this visa, all students are required to be enrolled in a curriculum that is expected to end with graduation and a diploma or similar type of degree. 

The M-1 visa, on the other hand, is reserved for vocational students who will be learning a trade or enrolling in a type of vocational training that does not fit into the parameters of an F-1 student visa.

Student Visa FAQs: How Long Does a Student Visa Last, How Much Does It Cost, and More

Question 4: What Are the Requirements to Obtain a Student Visa?

There are certain actions and behaviors that are prohibited under the terms of a student visa. In addition to meeting the appropriate threshold of attending classes and remaining enrolled in school, students with an F-1 visa are not allowed to work in an off-campus position during their first year of study. 

After the first academic year, there are additional restrictions placed on the type of employment a visa holder can obtain. For vocational students with an M-1 visa, there is a bit more freedom to complete practical training that will build on the trade fundamentals they learned while in school.

No matter which type of visa a student has obtained, any off-campus training or employment is required to be directly related to their field of study and every position must receive prior approval from a designated official responsible for maintaining and ensuring compliance with all of the visa requirements. 

Along with the restrictions placed on working while on a student visa, there are a number of requirements that all such individuals must meet either before obtaining a visa or after the process has begun. 

For starters, all students must receive an I-20 form, which comes from an accredited educational institution that has already accepted him or her into the program. This is an important step and the form will be vital during the resulting interview with immigration officials. From there, the applicant will begin the process of filling out the SEVIS and DS-160 forms.

After this step is complete, it will be time to schedule an interview with officials who will be able to provide a decision about whether the agency will issue a requested visa. Typically, an applicant will receive his or her decision at the time of the interview.

Our thoughts

While the student visa FAQs listed above should provide some important assistance throughout the process, it is likely that prospective students still have a few questions or concerns. In this case, be sure to reach out to N400 Law to schedule a virtual consultation via Zoom. These professionals have helped many others in similar situations and are ready to address any lingering doubts or confusion.

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