The Immigration and Nationality Act provides three nonimmigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in the U.S.
The most common categories of work visas are listed below:
F-1 Visa for Academic Studies and/or Language Training Programs »
The F-1 category includes academic students in colleges, universities, seminaries, conservatories, academic high schools, other academic institutions, and in language training.
J-1 Visa for Exchange Visitors »
The J-1 exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants include:
a. Students at all academic levels
b. Trainees obtaining on-the-job training with firms, institutions, and agencies
c. Teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized schools
d. Professors coming to teach or do research at institutions of higher learning
e. Research scholars
f. Professional trainees in the medical and allied fields
g. International visitors coming to U.S. to tour, observe, consult, conduct research, receive training, demonstrate specialized knowledge or skills, or participate in an organized people-to-people program
M-1 Visa for Nonacademic or Vocational Studies »
The M-1 category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.