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Three Kinds of Student Visas Gain Entry to US

International students say they study in the United States because it will bring greater benefits than staying in their home countries.

But, midway they realize their expectations are not fulfilled.

International students say they realize too late that benefits are lacking after graduation, according to a recent USAToday article.

The article said that students did not get enough information about specific visa restrictions that come with living in the U.S.

So, here are the three kinds of visas offered to students:

F1 Visa: For academic purposes, this also allows employment, but only on campus. (Some are so lucky to acquire.)

J1 Visa: For “practical training," which is a work-and-study based program, such as interning or research programs. Students are only allowed to work if they are given proper permission.

M1 Visa: Offered to students planning to attend vocational schools. Students are not allowed to work under this visa.

H1-B Visa: A company can temporarily sponsor a student working for them.

Students under these visas are labeled as "Eligible Non-Citizens."

US Consulate Chennai. "#StudentVisaDay" (Flickr)
US Consulate Chennai. "#StudentVisaDay" (Flickr)

Students say the downfall of the academic visas is they allow employment, but are focused on academics.

Students credit the range of opportunities here in the U.S. as why they come abroad. But they also blame the U.S. for the amount of debt they accumulate, especially with the lack of scholarships

In the USAToday article, student Joanne Wu lamented that without scholarships — which are often given based on need — international students are forced to fund their life in the U.S. on their own, or apply for assistance from their home government.

Many students who decide to study in the U.S. have the option of applying for financial aid from their home government or from an organization affiliated with their government. NAFSA reports that organizations such as The Organization of American States, offer 'interest-free' loans to students hailing from the Caribbean or Latin America, who enter the United States under a F-1 visa, towards their time spent in the states studying. notes that, International students are also unskilled at managing their money, especially with understanding how student loans work and that they are unlikely to qualify for those loans. How tuition is distributed, the U.S. legal system, and their rights and restrictions as non-citizens are also mostly unknown to them.

The average international student could pay about $35,000 if they choose to study at a private institution, and according to study abroad site InfoZee, these student could pay an additional $900-$1000 on other living expenses each year.

The frustrating part of this is the question of will a degree from an American school pay off in the long run? Will they get a job after graduating? Will they return home?

International students bring in about $30 billion to the U.S., a number that is quickly rising.

Many international students have voiced their appreciation for the opportunity to study in the US, and the possibility of some day acquiring a job, but the overall perk of studying in the US is the education, along with experience and the lifelong benefits that come with it, such as cultural experience, development of relationships and personal growth.

The only way to properly assist international students with maintaining life in the US would be to prove to them that their hard work is worth it in the long run. According another USAToday article, the best way to do so is ensuring that the student has applied for all the correct aids and financial assistance opportunities offered and that their visa qualifies them for employment in the US.

Ultimately, international students will find success in studying in the United States, if they received proper support, whether it is from their government, or from a sponsor.

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