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Exploring US Student Visa Options for Indian Students: From F1 to EB-5 Visas

June 29, 2023 / lindy

The US government provides different types of student visas for Indian students, such as J, M, F, and EB-5 visas. Students should note that before applying for an M, J, or F student visa, they must first apply and be accepted by a recognized US institution. Additionally, the institution should be certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Programme (SEVP).

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 visa allows international students to study full-time at SEVP-approved institutions in the US. Requirements include a valid passport, academic transcripts, photographs, and proof of financial stability. Academic eligibility involves completing 12 years of schooling, and proficiency in English through tests like TOEFL or IELTS is required.

M-1 Visa

The M-1 visa is for non-academic programmes or vocational studies/training. M-1 visa holders can participate in vocational and technical programmes without a work permit until their course is completed.


J-1 Visa
The J-1 visa is for applicants seeking employment in study-based exchange and visitor programmes in the US. It is designed for individuals who need training and allows them to study, teach, and receive skill-based training.

EB-5 Visa
The EB-5 visa is an immigration programme aimed at attracting foreign investment and stimulating economic growth. To qualify, investors must make a minimum investment of $800,000 USD in a new commercial enterprise, creating at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. Once approved, investors and their immediate family members can become conditional permanent residents and apply for permanent residency after two years.
The EB-5 visa programme offers several benefits to Indian students, including a pathway to US residency, access to US colleges and universities, potential eligibility for in-state tuition, and reduced education costs. It provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, enhancing educational and career prospects in the United States.

Nicholas A. Mastroianni III, President and CMO, US Immigration Fund (USIF), said, “The EB-5 visa programme can offer Indian students numerous benefits as they pursue higher education in the United States. The foremost is to provide them and their families a pathway to U.S. residency, ensuring they can remain in the country without any of the uncertainties associated with student visas. Given that the EB-5 visa leads to a green card, students would have increased access to U.S. public colleges and universities, and could potentially qualify for in-state tuition in some cases, significantly reducing the cost of education.

The EB-5 programme stands out from other immigration schemes by offering permanent residency and unparalleled freedom. It allows individuals to navigate their career path without sponsorship, providing flexibility to work, change occupations, retire, or take breaks as desired. The EB-5 visa truly empowers its holders with a wide range of opportunities and unprecedented flexibility.

Overall, the EB-5 visa programme can offer a strong advantage to Indian students seeking to expand their educational and career opportunities in the United States, providing a robust foundation for long-term personal and professional growth.

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