Skip to main content

Get a student visa to study in the U.S.

To study in the U.S. as an international student, you must get a student visa. Learn about the types of student visas, how to apply, and if you can work while you study.

Types of student visas

F-1 and M-1 visas for full-time students

The most common student visas are F-1 and M-1.

  • F-1 visas are for full-time international students pursuing academic studies.
  • M-1 visas are for full-time international students pursuing vocational studies.

J-1 visa for exchange students

The J-1 exchange visitor visa is for foreign nationals who have been approved to take part in work-and-study-based exchange programs. Examples include visiting scholars, camp counselors, au pairs, and research assistants. Learn about the educational programs that J-1 visa holders can participate in.

How to apply for, extend, or renew a student visa

Visit the Department of State’s website to learn more details about F-1 or M-1 visas and J-1 visas. Get information about:

  • Eligibility rules
  • How to apply
  • Appointment wait times
  • Application fees
  • Extending your stay in the U.S.
  • Student visa renewals

Can you work in the U.S. with a student visa?

If you have an F-1, M-1, or J-1 visa, you may be eligible to work in the U.S. But you may only qualify for work on-campus or at a job related to your studies.

LAST UPDATED: December 8, 2023


Have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.