What’s the Difference Between F, M, and J Visas?

Are you looking to study in the United States? If so, you should make sure that you’re getting the correct visa for your purposes before you apply.

There are three different visas that are called student visas in the United States: the F, M, and J visas. Learn how these visas vary and which one is most appropriate for your particular

Applying for a Student Visa

The three types of student visas are for different types of learning. 

F, M, and J visas are each governed by a unique set of regulations. Those applying for type F or M visas must attend a school or program that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Those applying for a type J visa, on the other hand, must receive sponsorship from an organization approved by the Department of State.

Type F Visas

The F visa, sometimes called the Academic Student Visa, is used by visitors who wish to attend an accredited college, university, seminary, preparatory high school, or other academic learning institution. This visa covers all students participating in a traditional academic program.

Type M Visas

The M visa, also known as the Vocational Student Visa, is available to students who wish to go into a non-academic learning program in the United States. These programs typically have a shorter duration and are focused on technical skills like cooking, design, or programming.

Type J Visas

The J visa is most commonly known as the Exchange Visitor’s visa and includes a variety of available programs. This visa is open to a variety of groups, including:

  • Professors
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Interns
  • Nannies
  • Camp counselors

The programs covered under the type J visa are focused on cultural exchange. While this can be a type of student visa, not all those applying for a type J visa are students, as you can see from the list above.

passport and pen on top of student visa application form
A passport and a pen on top of a student visa application form. Learn more about the differences between F, M, and J student visas.

Applying for an F, M, or J Student Visa

There are many steps that must be followed in order to apply for a student visa, and the process can be a lengthy one. If you are considering applying for a student visa to come to the United States, FileRight can provide you with the tools you need to ensure that your visa application is filed correctly.

Contact us to find out more about the visa application process and discover which visa type is best suited for your situation. 

FileRight can help if you are planning to come to the country on a temporary student visa, or looking to extend your stay and become a permanent resident or even a United States citizen.

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