Student & Exchange Visas

Generally

The United States is very open to foreign citizens who come to the U.S. to study. We can help you obtain visas for all levels of education, from elementary through college and beyond, as well as technical or trade school programs. Since we are a full-service law firm (unlike other non-lawyer services), we can actually represent you before the immigration service as well as under state law (such as obtaining guardianship for minors to study abroad).

Acceptance by a Program

Before applying for a visa, all student and exchange visitor applicants are required to be accepted and approved for their program. We can do the research for you to get the exact requirements of any program or institution that you are interested in. Should you be accepted, the educational institutions and program sponsors will provide you the necessary approval documentation to be submitted when applying for a visa. A helpful category table is listed below:

 To enter the United States to attend:
 You need the following 
visa category
  • University or college
  • High School
  • Private elementary school
  • Seminary
  • Conservatory
  • Another academic institution, including a language training program
 


F visa
Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program
 
M visa

Exchange Program

Before you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization. Several Exchange Visitor Categories are listed below:
  • Au pair and EduCare 
  • Short-term Scholar
  • Camp Counselor 
  • Specialist
  • Government Visitor 
  • Student, college/university
  • Intern 
  • Student, secondary
  • International Visitor (Dept. of State use) 
  • Summer Work Travel
  • Physician 
  • Teacher
  • Professor and Research Scholar 
  • Trainee

What is SEVIS?

When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program you plan to participate in, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Most J-1 Exchange Visitors must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. (If the J-1 exchange visitor program you will participate in allows you to bring your spouse and/or children, they are not required to pay this fee.) Your program sponsor will provide you with a Form DS-2019 to present when you attend your visa interview. If your program allows your spouse and children to participate with you, they will be issued their own Form DS 2019 in order to apply for J-2 visas to accompany you. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.

At the Law Office of Nathan G. Frazier, we can assist you throughout the visa process, including the complications that may arise, such as extending your visa, changing programs, and obtaining work authorization.