The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school, college or university which is SEVP certified. In general, for academic students, including those in language training, F visas are the appropriate category, and for nonacademic vocational students an M visa is the appropriate category.
If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study which is recreational, and the course is less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do so in a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. When traveling to the U.S. to attend seminars or conferences for credit towards a degree, then you’ll need a student visa.
What is SEVIS and SEVP?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State better monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. Exchange visitor and student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States.
I will have more on Student and Vocational Visas. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me or visit our website at www.tnimmigration.com.