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California Student Visa Eligibility for the LGBT Community

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Student Visa Eligibility

If you are interested in studying in the U.S. as a full-time student, you must first obtain a student visa. Depending on the course of study and the kind of school you wish to attend, you may be eligible for either an F-1 Student Visa or an M-1 Student Visa. However, the following criteria must first be met:

  • You must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program
  • Your institution must be authorized by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution
  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in English Proficiency courses
  • You must have the funds necessary to support your entire proposed course of study
  • You must keep a residence abroad which you have no intention of renouncing

What is an F-1 Student Visa?

An F-1 student visa is for full-time students who wish to obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate at either an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, private elementary school, or another academic program including a language-training program. The U.S. Government must have also approved acceptance of international students at the particular institution you wish to attend.

Am I eligible for an F-1 Student Visa?

The three requirements to be eligible for an F-1 student visa are

  1. The student must be accepted into an academic institution
  2. The student must have the funds necessary to pay for the institutional fees and living expenses in the U.S., AND
  3. The student must intend on leaving the U.S. after his or her education ends

What is an M-1 Student Visa?

An M-1 student visa is an educational visa for students in vocational or any nonacademic programs, with the exception of language-training programs.

Am I eligible for an M-1 Student Visa?

A student may be eligible for an M-1 visa if they meet the following requirements:

  1. The student must be accepted into a vocational/technical school, AND
  2. The student must have the funds necessary to study full-time.


If you or a loved one is interested in obtaining a student visa and have questions or concerns about eligibility, contact a Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Immigration Attorney today for case consultation. 

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