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There are two non-immigrant student visa categories for persons wishing to study in the United States: the F and M visas.
The F visa applies to applicants who have been accepted by an approved college, university, seminary, conservatory, high school, middle school, elementary school, or other academic institution, or in a language-training program in the United States. The applicant's acceptance is evidenced by a completed certificate of eligibility (form I-20) signed by the applicant and the designated school official.
The M or vocational visa allows applicants to attend established vocational or other recognized non-academic institutions. For example, students attending culinary schools use this category.
F or M student visa holders may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program starts if they are beginning a new course of study.
Click here to view what forms and documents an applicant must bring.
To qualify for a student visa, students must also bring the following:
- SEVIS form and USD $ 200 fee receipt (this fee can be paid online at http://www.fmjfee.com);
- original I-20 form (for F visa) or I-20M (for M visa) provided by the institution;
- original acceptance letter from the institution; and
- financial proof of ability to pay the full tuition amount on the I-20. Evidence may include a scholarship, an assistantship, bank statements, salary statements, etc.
For any visa-related question not answered on the consular section’s website, applicants may refer to the A-Z Subject Index or send a message to the following email address: VisasBucharest@state.gov. In most cases, the message will be answered within 3 business days.