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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


18 Jan 2018 399 Book icon 2 mins Share

The types of US study visas

For international students – there are 4 types of study visas that you can apply for, depending on your study programme and the duration of study in the USA

18 Jan 2018 399 Book icon 2 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


Share this article
types of US study visas

How many types of US student visas are you aware of? F1 is a common study visa that almost every international student applies for. However, there are a few more visas that international students can apply for, depending on their course choice and duration of study at a US institute.

we give you the list of the types of US student visas

  1. F1 visa
  2. M visa
  3. J visa

F1 visa

F1 visa is the most common and widely known visa derivative of F visas. F1 visas are meant for international students who are looking for academic visas to study in the USA.

Know about the popular F1 visa questions

M visa

M visas are for students engaging in vocational or non-academic education. Usually, students on M visas are not allowed to work on campus or off campus during their studies, and they do not have a leeway to ‘extend’ their visas. This means M visa holders should be back to their native country immediately upon completion of their course. The duration of stay for an M visa holder is 1 year and in any case, they are not allowed to overstay their visas. 

J visa

J visas are granted to students or visitors who need to go to the USA on exchange programmes or any practical trainings. J visa holders stay in the USA for a very short period of time, mostly for one or two semesters. And the holders usually seek for training or exchange programmes relevant to their study programmes back in their university in their native country. However, a crucial criterion to apply for a J visa is to be accepted to an exchange programme via a designated sponsor.

There could be a few more types of visas that you can apply for, possibly during your stay in the USA, which could be sponsored by your employer (such as H-1B visas) or by any organisation that you work for, after completing your studies in the USA. Keep an eye or check with your circle of people or with the admissions team of your institute if you are eligible to apply for any visa that is less known to you.

Lesser-known US visa – EB

  • There is another type of visa that very few international students might choose to apply for, called EB visas. Employment-based visas are for candidates who can invest a substantial amount towards any business in the USA. Based on the number of job creation, the candidate is granted a 'green card'.
  • Though not a lucrative option for a majority of international students, EB visas have certain advantages that might prove beneficial for certain people who find it otherwise difficult to migrate and establish them in the USA.  

Despite the change in US visa policies, rather a dubious one, which made many H-1B visa holders lose their sleep for a few days and many people abandon their hopes of studying in the country, we do see a big number of students, particularly Indian students, giving more importance to an American degree.

Thinking which US visa will be apt for your studies? Do let us know what course and/or programme you are looking for and we’ll tell you which visa will suit your career. But, to give you an idea, our counsellors have helped thousands of students apply for their F1 visas for their higher studies, and they still do. So we can help you better with your queries pertaining to F1 visas and provide the required support and guidance.

Need help applying for a study visa?

Ashmeet Kaur Ashmeet Kaur,
IDP Expert
Get FREE guidance on every aspect on visa application process. Get in touch with us now!