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Student Visa

What is a Student Visa?

A student visa is a special endorsement added to a government passport issued to students enrolled at qualified educational institutions. Student visas are non-immigrant visas that do not require the holder to obtain citizenship.1 Any prospective student seeking higher education in another country must obtain a student visa from that country.

Understanding Student Visas

Most countries will issue student visas to allow foreign students to attend school within their borders. However, in most cases, the student must first be enrolled at a post-secondary institution of higher learning. So, for example, if you’re from another country and you want to come to the United States to study, you’ll actually need both these two visas:

  • A non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence
  • A student visa

These visas come in two categories, F and M, depending on the type of higher-learning institution that’s accepted you. Category F encompasses “university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or another academic institution, including a language-training program.” Category M contains “Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program.”