In most cases, anyone who wants to come into the United States must first obtain a visa. These can be assigned for either permanent residency or a temporary stay. If you plan on studying here, you can secure a student visa.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services cites several requirements for obtaining a student visa, which are the following:
- You must either speak English or be taking a course that will lead to proficiency in English.
- You must be already enrolled in the program as a full-time student.
- The Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement must have approved the program.
- You must be able to support yourself during your education.
- You must have a home abroad that you do not plan to give up.
As the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs points out, there are different categories of student visas based on which type of school you will attend. For example, if you are planning on going to either a vocational or nonacademic institution, you will need to apply for an M visa. For most other programs, ranging from private elementary school and universities to seminaries, conservatories and language training, you will need to apply for an F visa.
If you secure an F visa, you cannot work off-campus during your first year, but the USCIS reports that you could work on-campus. Several other employment restrictions that apply to students with any type of visa, including which type of job they may hold and the type of practical training they may be involved in.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.