Every year, the U.S. attracts foreign nationals who wish to pursue their studies in approved educational institutions. The appropriate categories are: F-1 (academic students), M-1 (vocational students) and J-1 (exchange students). F-1 and M-1 students must be accepted in a program approved through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). J-1 students must be accepted in a program which has been approved by the Department of State (DHS). These programs are available for secondary students as well as college/university students. After acceptance, prospective students generally will need to apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate abroad in order to enter the U.S. Some individuals who are in the U.S. may be eligible to apply to change their status to that of a student.


  • Must be bona fide students
  • The demonstration of nonimmigrant intent
  • Proof of appropriate program acceptance and of financial qualifications
  • An application for appropriate visa if abroad, or change to appropriate status from within United States
  • Specific requirements differ for each student category

How We Can Help You

  • Murthy Law Firm provides assistance in determining which student category is most appropriate.
  • We advise as to requirements for maintenance, change, and extension of student status.
  • We guide students regarding options and limitations of Curricular and Optional Practical Training (CPT and OPT).
  • We represent individuals seeking to change to student status, and guide those who wish to increase their chances of successfully obtaining a student visa abroad.