The Application Process for the USA Student Visa
Depending upon the category and type of course, students may have to apply for a F-1 or a M-1 student visa.
F-1 Student Visa
F1 visas are meant for students who want to study a full-time course (or 18+ hours a week) in the United States. Before filing an application for a F1 Student visa, you need to get accepted into a SEVP(Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved the school. SEVP approved schools and universities meet the minimum requirements set in place by Department of Homeland Security. After this, the institution will provide you with relevant documents that support your approval. You need to attach these documents while filing an application for F1 student visa.
M-1 Student Visa
For attending vocational or nonacademic courses, students should apply for an M-1 visa. One limitation that this visa imposes is that students aren’t allowed to work throughout their course of study. Further, students must show evidence of enough funds to pay the fee and support themselves through the entire study period.
Still, vocational and non-academic courses are of shorter length than full-time courses. So financing your studies won’t be as much of a problem.
How Study Visas Help You to Get Employment Opportunities While Studying in the USA
A US education is recognized all over the world and the skills you gain from studying in the US make you very attractive to potential employers.
In the US, there are options to work part-time on campus during your first year of study. International students in the US can work in a job on campus up to 20 hours a week. All US universities also offer extra-curricular activities that provide real-world job experience.
Many students find that their time is better spent taking internships or practical training, which allows them to work for university credit in a job in a related field.
Almost all US institutions have a dedicated career services office so make sure you make use of them during your time at university. There you will find work opportunities advertised, a mentoring program, or even mock interview and assessment centers, all useful experience when applying for jobs.
Many US degrees also build work experience into the program, allowing you to get a valuable hands-on experience of the job you want to do.
Another option that appeals to many students is to broaden their study experience through the semester or summer-long study abroad and exchange programs, offered by most universities as well as outside study abroad providers.
Following graduation, students on an F-1 visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows them to work in their chosen field for 12-24 months after completing their studies. Beyond that, some companies may even sponsor students for an H1-B Temporary Worker Visa, allowing them to continue living in the USA as long as they work for that company.