Student Applicants (for F-1 and M-1 visas) - Overview
For student related information, visit the Education USA website created by the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, financial aid, testing, admissions, and much more. For a brief overview, visit the America.gov article Basics on U.S. Visas .
The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school 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 or avocational, and of less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do soon a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa.
When Do I Need to Apply for My Student Visa?