Is Student Visa an Immigrant Visa

As time flies by, seasons change, days transition to weeks, months, and years the wave of people going abroad never crashes. But, of course, it isn’t news that an individual can’t travel abroad without a visa.

A foreign country is not the fatherland of a traveler; therefore, one requires a Visa as a permit to stay.

There are two major Visas: The immigrant visa and the non-immigrant Visa.

As students travel abroad to school, do they all end up migrating? The answer to this question is uncertain. This uncertainty necessitates questioning the type of Visa given to students. Is it an immigrant or non-immigrant visa students receive?

Key Takeaways: Is Student Visa an immigrant visa?

There are many students all across the globe who do not study in their homeland. Rather, they travel to strange lands in search of better education and opportunities. However, travel for study or whatever reason is impossible without a visa. 

Though there are two kinds of visas, students in the diaspora normally receive non-immigrant visas. It is mostly the F1 or M1 visa. The Visa granted lasts for the period of their stay determined by the duration of their course, after which they have 60 days to leave. However, you may be eligible for optional practical training, enabling you to remain and work for a year.

Do International Students Receive an Immigrant Visa?

For international students to study abroad, they need a visa as a permit to cross a foreign border and stay in whatever country they choose. Getting a visa isn’t an easy task as there are lots of requirements to be met and documentation that need organization. The process may take a while, after which your application for a visa may still be turned down.

However, students who are lucky enough obtain an F1 or M1 Visa to enable them to reside in their study country temporarily. The F1 Visa is for those attending private elementary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries. On the other hand, the M1 Visa is for those enrolling in a vocational or recognized non-academic institution. 

The institution determines the duration of their stay, depending on the course of study. Your institution will give you a 1-20 form, stating the period for which your program will run. Since their stay is temporary and not permanent, they cannot receive an immigrant visa. Therefore, a student visa falls under the category of a non-immigrant visa. 

For an individual to obtain a student visa, the institution which he/she seeks to qualify for must be certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). Without a SEVP approved institution accepting and accrediting you, there is no way you can apply for your non-immigrant student visa. 

Requirements for Student Visa

A foreign national hassle an application following certain procedures to be granted a student visa. However, before submitting this application, the individual in question must have been able to meet certain requirements. It is impossible to apply if you don’t fulfill these preliminary conditions.

Below are the requirements that one needs to apply for a Student Visa.

  • SEVP, immigration, and customs have to acknowledge the institution that the student will be attending.
  • The applicant must enroll in a full-time program in a certified academic institution. 
  • The foreign national should possess proof that he/she can comfortably cover the cost of study, living expenses, and other accompanying miscellaneous expenses.
  • The aspirant must demonstrate a clear understanding of the English language by passing whatever English proficiency test he or she undergoes. For example, it could be the IELTS, OET, Pearson, etc.
  • You should have a passport with a validity exceeding your program completion date.
  • You should have proof of residence in your fatherland and strong ties to create the assurance that you’ll return after your studies.

If you have the above, you are qualified to begin processing your application.

Read: Requirements to Study Nursing in Canada for International Students


So, is student visa an immigrant visa? Well, the type of Visa given to international students depends on the kind of institution and the duration of their study. For example, an F1 visa is for high school, college, and university students. On the other hand, students of vocational studies receive an M1 visa. The F1 and M1 student visas are non-immigrant visas because they facilitate a person’s stay for only a limited period.

The reason is that a student’s stay is temporary. After completing the course and attaining a degree, students must return to their country of origin. However, upon the expiration of a student visa, an individual can apply for a migrant visa to remain and live in the study country.


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