Nonimmigrant Visas: Study & Exchange

On July 10th, 2020, Washington announced that certain travelers from Schengen area countries could resume traveling to the United States if, as determined by a Consular Officer, they qualify as a National Interest Exception (NIE) to President Trump’s March 11, 2020 Presidential Proclamation that suspended routine travel from the Schengen Area to the United States.

All students from the Schengen Area, and their dependents, traveling to the United States to pursue a full course of study per INA 101(a)(15)(F), INA 101(a)(15)(M), or participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student, must contact the U.S. Embassy prior to travel to determine their eligibility.

Students who do not currently have a valid visa should click on “How to Apply” above to determine their eligibility for a student visa and to make an appointment for an interview.

Students who currently have a valid visa should contact the Embassy directly for instructions:

The Student (F-1/M-1) Visa provides opportunities for qualified applicants to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. With thousands of academic programs, world-class institutions, and unmatched flexibility, the United States offers a wealth of higher-education opportunities. Visit the Department of State’s EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more.

The Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa program provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the United States to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. To learn more about exchange visitor visa programs, program sponsors, and more, please visit

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating countries who intend to study cannot travel on the VWP or on visitor (B) visas, except to undertake recreational study as part of a tourist visit. Students must travel to the United States with student (F-1 or M-1) visas. For more information on the VWP, see Visa Waiver Program.

For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa can be used. Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate, is permitted on a visitor (B) visa. Learn more about Visitor Visas.

Study leading to a U.S. conferred degree or certificate is not permitted on a visitor (B) visa, even if it is for a short duration. For example, distance learning which requires a period of time on the institution’s U.S. campus requires an F-1 visa.