The United States — and New York City specifically — has long been known for its excellent institutions of higher education. Thousands of students from around the world seek to enter the country every year to obtain instruction in their chosen fields. However even after you have been accepted to the university, school or institution of your choice, you must still face the final hurdle of obtaining an F or M student visa. This process can involve coordination between several government entities, including the State Department, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At Bretz & Coven, LLP, we understand how intimidating this can be. We work closely with students to help them take the uncertainty out of the F and M visa processes.
There are several types of visas available to students under U.S. immigration law:
Obtaining a F visa for academic studies or a M visa for vocational studies essentially follows the same procedure. These programs are limited to schools that ICE has certified for participation in the student exchange program. You may not apply for a F or M visa until you have been accepted for admission as a full-time student at one of these schools. Once you have been accepted, you can file your visa application, along with proof of acceptance, with your local U.S. consulate.
A student visa remains valid only as long as certain conditions continue to be met. Withdrawal, expulsion or other loss of full-time student status can result in the cancellation of a F or M visa. Likewise, violations of immigration laws and visa limitations involving employment may result in revocation. F and M students may not be employed during their first year of studies — with the exception of limited on-campus work. During subsequent years, they may engage in internships, externships and other practical training within their chosen fields. To the extent that a F or M student receives compensation for such work, both students and his or her employers must comply with U.S. tax laws involving income tax liability, income reporting and nonresident alien tax withholding.
As many of our attorneys and staff at Bretz & Coven, LLP were themselves foreign students, we are sensitive to how intimidating the F and M visa processes can be for students hoping to study in NYC or anywhere in the United States. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.