U.S. immigration law provides three non-immigrant visa categories for study in the United States:
- The “F” visa for academic studies,
- The “J” visa for cultural and educational exchange programs and
- The “M” visa for nonacademic or vocational studies.
In order to obtain a student visa, the applicant must first apply to and be accepted at a school/educational institute in the U.S. Once accepted by the institute, the institute will forward a form called the I-20 or Form DS-2019, depending on the type of programme. The applicant can then make an appointment for a visa interview.
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