Visas to travel to the United States
Are you going to take a language course in the United States?
Take note, here we explain the visa you need according to your stay.
You have decided to take a course in the United States. Now you will have to know what type of visa you need to process to enter the country, some factors to take into account are the duration of your course, your nationality and the type of language course you are going to take, among others.
If you belong to one of the 38 countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program, Spain and Chile are included, and you are going to stay in the United States for up to 90 days, processing the EsTa (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa will suffice. It is processed through the Internet at the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/application.html?execution=e1s1
The resolution of this procedure is carried out within a maximum period of 48 hours and is valid for stays of up to 90 days. The reason for your trip may be tourism, business, medical purposes or transit to another country. To obtain it you will need a valid passport at the time of entering the country, a change of status is not allowed once you are in the country and is valid for 2 years from its issuance.
With the EsTa visa you can take a language course in the United States of up to 18 hours per week, remember this information. If you decide to take a more intensive or longer 90-day course, you must take an F1 student visa.
In the event that your nationality is not among the 38 countries that are exempt from visas, as is the case of Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay or other countries in Latin America, then it will be necessary that You apply for a B2 tourist visa.
The tourist visa you will need to take your language course will be B2. With the B2 visa you will have the option to study a course of up to 18 hours per week for a maximum duration of 6 months.
To apply for this visa you will need:
- A valid passport at the time of entering the country
- Your request form DS-160 visa which is filled out through the Internet and the day you have your appointment at the embassy you must take it printed.
- Recent color photograph, size 5×5 cm with the face and head uncovered revealing the ears and the white background.
- It is also recommended to bring documents that demonstrate that you have financial solvency in your country of origin such as bank statements, income statement, rental agreement, … and certificates of studies or diplomas.
F-1 STUDENT VISA
You belong to one of the 38 countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program and you have decided to take a course of more than 18 hours per week or you are going to take a course lasting more than 90 days, you have to obtain an F-1 visa. You will also need this visa if you do not belong to one of these countries and you are going to take a course of more intensity than 18 hours per week or you are going to be in the country for more than 6 months.
Remember that with this visa you will not be able to work in the United States.
The procedures and requirements vary from country to country but generally to apply for this visa you will need:
- Valid passport.
- DS-160 Visa application form, obtained through the Internet.
- Recent color photograph of size 5×5 cm with the face and head uncovered revealing the ears.
- Form I-20. Called Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (This form is provided by the school from the United States).
- SEVIS payment receipt (price 350 $)
- Documents that demonstrate your financial solvency (bank statements, income statement, rental agreement, …)
- Certificate of employment, studies, family ties … This is necessary to demonstrate that you are going to return to your country of origin and that you are not going to remain indefinitely in the United States.
In the event that your spouse and / or child / children decide to accompany you on this trip, it is possible by linking an F2 visa to that of the main student. Couples must be legally married to be able to access this visa, so a copy of the marriage and / or birth certificate will be necessary in the case of children. If your family is not going to be with you the entire stay but they are going to visit you in the United States with a B2 tourist visa it will be enough.
It is important to remember that couples or children applying for an F2 visa must fill out their own DS-160 forms and obtain their own I-20 form from the school. These people will also not be able to work in the United States.
In the following link you can see if you need a visa to travel to the United States, the type of visa required and the procedures to be carried out: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html