Study / Train



A student visa granted to applicants who want to pursue a full course of academic study at a U.S. college, university, high school, primary, or elementary school.

F-1 Visa Duration

F-1 students are admitted for duration of status and are required to maintain a valid passport at all times for at least six months beyond the expiration of the status. Duration of status is defined as the time necessary to pursue a full course of study at any educational level in the same school as stated on the I-20 form, plus any authorized practical training, and plus 60 days thereafter.



A J-1 visa is issued to applicants who have been accepted to participate in exchange visitor programs, designated by the United States Information Agency ("USIA"). This may include students, scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, specialists, foreign medical graduates, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors, au pairs, and participants in summer travel/work programs.

The validity of the J-1 visa depends on the exchange program that the applicant participates in. Generally the J-1 visa is issued for the duration of the exchange program. The maximum allowable periods of stay for each category are:

  • College and University Students: Duration of course of study for those in a degree program; limit of 24 month for those in a non-degree program. Eighteen months of academic training are also allowed (36 months for those in post-doctoral programs).
  • Professors and Research Scholars: Three years.
  • Trainees: Eighteen months, 24 months for those coming for flight training.
  • Short-term scholars: Four months.
  • Specialists: One year.
  • Foreign medical graduates: length of program, up to a maximum of seven years.
  • International visitors: One year.
  • Government visitors: Eighteen months.
  • Teachers: Three years.
  • Secondary school students: One year.
  • Camp counselor: Four months.
  • Au pairs: One year.

Extensions of stay are allowable only up to the maximum allowable period of stay for each category.



The M-1 visa is granted to students who want to study in the United States at a vocational or other nonacademic institution. Students on an M-1 visa are admitted for one year or for the period necessary to complete their course of study plus 30 days thereafter to depart, whichever is less.

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