Nonimmigrant Visas: Study & Exchange

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa. You must have a student visa to study in the United States. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F-1, J-1 or  an M-1 visa.

There are three types of visas for student and exchange program participants:

  • F-Visa– Student (academic, high school or language program)
  • J-Visa–  Exchange visitors
  • M-Visa– Student in vocational or recognized non-academic program


The Student (F-1/M-1) Visa provides opportunities for qualified applicants to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. With thousands of academic programs, world-class institutions, and unmatched flexibility, the United States offers a wealth of higher-education opportunities. Visit the Department of State’s EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more.

The Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa program provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the United States to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. To learn more about exchange visitor visa programs, program sponsors, and more, please visit