Student Visa Lawyer in Los Angeles

Immigration issues often require legal help. If you need a student visa attorney in Los Angeles, the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A., may be able to assist you. Call today.

Your Los Angeles Student Visa Attorney

Student visas are required by individuals seeking to study in the United States. However, navigating the US immigration system can be complex and challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the process.

Using an experienced F1 visa lawyer is a good idea if you are interested in studying in the US. Contact the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A., to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Student Visas

The two most common types of student visas in the US are F-1 visas and M-1 visas.

F-1 Visa

The most common type of student visa in the US, the F-1 visa, is issued to foreign nationals coming to the US to pursue academic studies, such as attending a college or university, a high school, a private elementary school, or other educational institutions.

Students participating in a language training program or a non-academic course may also be eligible for an F-1 visa.

M-1 Visa

The M-1 visa is for vocational or technical students. Examples of eligible schools include community colleges, trade schools, and technical institutes.

Students pursuing non-academic or recreational courses, such as cooking classes or hobby courses, may also be eligible for an M-1 visa.

Requirements for Student Visas

Applicants should be accepted to a US school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The SEVP is a program that manages international students and exchange visitors in the US.

Once accepted to a SEVP-approved school, applicants may apply for a student visa at a US embassy or consulate in their home country. The visa application process typically includes an interview with a consular officer, who will determine if the applicant is eligible for a visa.

When applying for a student visa, you will need to submit the following:

  • Proof of acceptance to a SEVP-approved school

  • Evidence of financial support to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses

  • A valid passport

  • A completed Form DS-160, which is the visa application form

  • Payment of the visa application fee

  • A photograph that meets the US visa requirements

Furthermore, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English, as most schools in the United States are conducted in English. Ensure that you meet an F1 student visa requirements by consulting an experienced F1 visa lawyer.

Restrictions on Student Visas

In the first academic year, F-1 students are not allowed to work off-campus but may accept employment on campus under certain conditions. An F-1 visa holder may engage in three types of off-campus employment after their first year of study:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

However, F-1 students may also be eligible to work off-campus in special circumstances such as economic hardship or special student relief. Practical training is only available to M-1 students after they have completed their studies.

Any off-campus training employment for F-1 and M-1 students must relate to their studies and be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to starting any work.

In addition, student visa holders are required to maintain their status as full-time students and make satisfactory academic progress to remain in the US. If a student falls below the required number of credits or is not making satisfactory progress, they may be at risk of losing their visa status and being removed from the US.

Note that student visa holders cannot travel outside the US and return using their visa if they have been outside the US for more than five months. In such cases, they should reapply for a new visa.

Extending a Student Visa

In some cases, students may need to extend their stay in the US beyond the expiration date of their visa. This can be done by applying for an extension with the USCIS.

To be eligible for an extension, the student should demonstrate satisfactory progress in the course and show that they have the financial resources to support themselves during their extended stay.

Students who overstay their visas are considered to violate US immigration law and may face the consequences such as being barred from reentering the US or being removed from the country.

Working in the US After Graduation

Many international students choose to stay in the US after they graduate to work and gain valuable experience in their field.

After graduation, students must apply for a temporary work visa called an H-1B visa, which is for skilled workers. An H-1B visa can only be obtained by a student with an offer of employment from a US employer willing to sponsor their visa. Furthermore, the job must require a high level of skill and education and be in a specialized area.

Another option for international students is the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which allows students to work in the US for up to 12 months after graduation.

Students who have earned a degree in specific STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) may be eligible to extend their OPT for an additional 24 months.

How a Skilled Lawyer Help International Students With a Student Visa

An immigration attorney can assist you with the following aspects of your student visa application:

  • Eligibility: The lawyer can help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for a student visa, including demonstrating that you have been accepted to a qualifying educational institution and have sufficient financial resources to support yourself in the US.
  • Application process: The lawyer can guide you through the visa application process and help you complete all the necessary forms and paperwork.
  • Supporting documentation: The lawyer can help you gather all required supporting documentation, such as transcripts, test scores, and financial statements.
  • Interview preparation: If a visa interview is required, the lawyer can help you prepare for the interview and provide guidance on what to expect.
  • Appeals and waivers: If your visa application is denied or you are found to be ineligible, the lawyer can assist you with appeals and waivers.

In addition to the above, an immigration lawyer can help you understand the restrictions and requirements associated with your student visa, such as maintaining full-time student status and limitations on off-campus employment.

Overall, working with an immigration lawyer can help ensure that your student visa application is handled correctly.

Dealing With Student Visa Applications? We Have You Covered

The visa application process and requirements can be complex and time-consuming.

Immigration laws and policies are subject to change, particularly in light of the current political climate. As professionals in immigration law, our experienced and skillful lawyers can help you navigate the visa process to pursue your visa goals.

We provide a full range of immigration services, including applications for a green card through marriage.

Contact the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A., today for a free consultation. We are ready, willing, and available.