Student Visas


There are several nonimmigrant visa categories available for study and cultural exchanges in the United States, including:

  • F-1 Student Visa: for study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language institute. Notably, there are several types of U.S. employment authorization available through F-1 status, including:
    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) — work authorization for students actively enrolled in school who enter a program to work for credit related to their current major area of study.
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT) — work authorization for students who have met certain milestones in their academic degree programs:
      • Pre-completion OPT: Upon completion of one full year of enrollment, allows students to work for up to 1 year prior to graduation;
      • Post-completion OPT: Allows for students to work for 1 year post graduation; and
      • STEM OPT: Allows for STEM majors (most science and engineering majors) to extend post-completion OPT for an additional 24 months (total of 3 total years of OPT).
  • J-1 Exchange Visa: for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study.
  • M-1 Student Visa: for non-academic or vocational study or training in the U.S.


While most schools and universities provide ample support services to their international students, Attorney Mendoza has routinely consulted with students to prepare for F-1 consular visa applications, in connection with applications for U.S. employment authorization, and strategic plans for pursuing second or additional degrees in the U.S.

Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your student visa questions.