The United States is at the top of the QS ranking, which includes the best universities worldwide. MIT or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is #1 in this ranking, followed by Stanford, Harvard and the California Institute of Technology. Foreigners can study in one of those universities with a non-immigrant visa. There are three types of visas (F1, M1 and, J1) that allow foreigners to study in the United States, while they improve their English speaking skills.

The F1 visa was created for those people that wish to go through a study program in an institution, university, college, high school, etc. Those who wish to obtain that visa category must be registered in a study program that concludes with graduation, a diploma or certificate. Once the educational institution accepts you they should send the I-20 form so you can request the visa.

The M1 visa category includes students that are registered in vocational or non-academic programs. If your plan in to study in the United States in an academic exchange program, the visa category you need is J1. Remember you can only access the country three days before the study program begins.

You should be advised that the United States has very strict immigration laws. Authorities in the Department of Homeland Security can withdraw your student visa for different reasons such as:

  • Leaving the country for more than five months without notifying authorities properly
  • Not enrolling in a new study program after finishing the previous one
  • Interrupting the study program due to a lack of payment
  • Leaving the United States and returning with a different migratory status
  • If authorities don´t accept a change of schools or institutions
  • Being expelled from the study program
  • When a visa extension is denied after the study program is completed
  • If the student is suspended and cannot complete the program
  • If the student stopped attending class in the middle of the program
  • If false documents were presented when applying for the visa

There are other reasons why your visa could be canceled permanently, the most common reason is for overstaying in the United States, even if it´s only for 24 hours. That´s why you should have complete clarity regarding the expiration date of your visa, which is normally related to the duration of your study program. If for any reason you need to stay for a longer term than the one approved, then you need to go through a specific procedure that allows for a visa extension.

Your visa is also automatically canceled if it´s torn out from the passport in which it was originally stamped, or if authorities suspect that the visa is being used for different reasons (other than studying in this particular case). Authorities can also cancel your visa if they suspect that you may have the intention of staying permanently in the United States. This can happen when a person continuously extends his or her stay. These behaviors are perfectly valid, the problem is if an official starts suspecting that the person is hiding something or has other intentions.

Keep in mind that your visa could also be canceled if you work in the United States, with a student visa category. Only citizens, residents and working visa holders are allowed to legally work in the United States. Foreigners with a student visa cannot accept paid labor under any circumstances.

Your visa could also be canceled if it has a bureaucratic error, such as misspelling your name or surname, or a mistake on the date of birth. In this particular case, the cancellation does not have negative effects for the visa holder, who will eventually obtain another visa with the correct data.

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