Student Visa Lawyer

Do you want to study in the United States?

If you want to study in the United States, you are not alone. The United States has several types of non-immigration visas. These visas allow foreign nationals to accept employment, visit, and study in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Over time, the popularity of the student visa to university and graduate programs has grown exponentially.

In the U.S. are many of the top educational institutions in the world. These academic programs draw foreign nationals from all over the world, and the U.S. has a long-standing reputation as the most sought after location for international attendance at college or university. In 2016 alone, the United States welcomed over one million international students at institutions of higher education.

Greco Neyland is prepared to provide assistance to international students hoping to study in these recognized academic institutions and a range of other non-academic training and practical programs.

What Are Student Visas?

Any foreign national that wishes to study in the United States must have the appropriate approval from the government to enter and remain in the country. Although, individuals of primary school, high school, and university ages can also attend American institutions if entering the country as a permanent resident or other immigrant status. These applicable student visas permit any duration of study, from a full four-year degree to very short-term study of a week, and a visa is typically required for any of these situations.

The visa application should not be confused with admittance to a specific program. International students, specifically those looking to study at a four-year institution for a semester, year or longer, must first apply to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that is approved by the United States government. The individual academic institutions, not the U.S. government, handle the applications and admittance for these programs. Therefore, interested international students must apply to each program separately. Only institutions accredited as SEVP can obtain the documentation necessary for a foreign national to later apply for a student visa.

Immigration attorneys typically become involved in the process after a student selected and was admitted to a SEVP recognized institution, but our legal team at Greco Neyland is able to provide information and advice on any stage in the application and approval process, including information on SEVP institutions in California.

All student visas are provided for a temporary duration, and the legal status of a foreign national will change upon completion or termination of the specific program of study. Likewise, if a student visa is revoked, the international student couldn’t remain in the United States.

Are You Eligible?

Many people mistakenly believe that there is only one category of student visas in the United States, but in fact there are three separate schemes. This is not the case. Like employment visas and other non-immigration visas, there are separate visa categories, each with its own eligibility requirements.

Student Visa Category: Eligibility Requirements:
F1 The most common visa category for foreign students; applicable to private elementary school, high school, university, seminary, conservatory, or language training program.

Must enroll and maintain full-time student status; allowed employment on part-time, on-campus basis.

Optional Practical Training allowed (see below).

J1 Applicable to students seeking practical training that is not available in their home country; practical training must be in furtherance of an academic program; practical training must be required to complete program.

Allowed employment on part-time, on-campus basis; permission for such employment must be obtained from institution.

M1 Applicable for vocational, non-academic program participants; excludes language training programs.

Employment is prohibited; must have evidence of adequate funds for duration of the program, including living expenses.


The process of applying for and obtaining a F-1 student visa in California, or elsewhere in the United States, can be lengthy. Admittance to a SEVP program is only the initial hurdle. A foreign national must pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee at least three days prior to submitting any application for a student visa. Payment and receipt of this fee is a strict eligibility requirement for any F-1 student visa.

Denied or had difficulty with a U.S. student visa?

L.A.’s Immigration Lawyers

Greco Neyland provides immigration legal services involving employment visas, visitor visas, naturalization, asylum, and many other areas of immigration law. Our first step is to understand your specific circumstances and needs – then our experienced immigration attorneys outline the best path to studying and staying in the United States. We can even assist with information on programs and research on programs in California that are recognized and approved by the United States government for international attendees.

Your path to studying in the United States could be straightforward or take several twists and turns, but you can rely on our team of attorneys to keep you informed of the legal intricacies and possible outcomes at all times. We are L.A.’s student visa lawyers, and we are here to help.


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