Requirements for a non-immigrant student visa

Foreign nationals who wish to live in Illinois on a non-immigrant student visa may qualify for one of two types depending on the educational program they plan to pursue. One visa is for people attending high schools, colleges, universities, language programs or other educational institutions. Students doing vocational programs or nonacademic courses must apply for the other type of visa.

For the visa to be successful, the student must be accepted to a program that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services considers valid. The student must have completed whatever prerequisites are required for the course and should also be able to show enough proficiency in English to complete the course. An exception would be if the student came to the U.S. to take an English language course. Students pursuing language or academic programs must prove that they have enough funds to support themselves for the entire program or that the funds will be made available. For students entering nonacademic and vocational programs, it is not sufficient to just show that the funds will be available. They must already have the means of support.

Finally, students must demonstrate that their stay will be temporary since the visa is not supposed to be a path to long-term immigration. Students who cannot show that they have a compelling reason for returning to their home country may be denied a visa.

Navigating the immigration system can be difficult whether a person is seeking a temporary student visa or something more permanent, such as a green card, asylum or naturalization. People may be eligible for immigration through family relationships, work skills or for other reasons. However, immigration law has been undergoing some changes in the Trump administration. Therefore, an interested party may want to consult an immigration attorney for information on these changes as well as assistance in preparing the necessary documentation for an application.

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