There are many different visa types that allow for study while in the U.S. Refer to the Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study? PDF for a list of visa types that are permitted to study at BYU-Idaho in accordance with federal regulations.
- Visitor visa holders (issued B-1 or B-2 visas) are not permitted to begin studies in the U.S.
Vocational Student visa holders (issued M-1 or M-2 visas) are only permitted to study at vocational/trade schools or other nonacademic programs such as flight, cosmetology or esthetician, culinary, electrician schools, etc.
The U.S. Department of State will issue a visa based on your intended purpose. An F-1 visa is specifically for studying in the U.S. In most instances, your lawful status and visa category will be the same throughout your education unless you change your status after entering the U.S.
Your F-1 visa does not determine how long you may remain in the U.S. You may stay beyond the expiration date of a visa as long as your Form I-20 and Passport are valid. It is not possible to apply for a visa or to renew a visa inside the U.S. If you leave the country and your visa has expired, you will need to renew your visa before reentering the U.S. See the F-1 Visa page for more information about the F-1 visa application process.
The U.S. Department of State will issue a visa based on your intended purpose for coming to the U.S. An F-2 visa type is for non-immigrant dependents of F-1 students. This visa status is for the spouse or child of an F-1 student. Your status as an F-2 visa holder is dependent upon the F-1 visa holder. If the F-1’s I-20 is terminated for any reason, your I-20 is terminated as well. See the F-2 Visa page for more information about F-2 visas.
If you entered the U.S. under a visa status other than F-1, you can apply to change your status while you are in the U.S. See the Change Status page for more information regarding visa status changes.
Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are non-citizens who are legally authorized to live in the U.S. permanently. Permanent Residents are also known as green cardholders. Permanent Residents are allowed to own property, accept employment without restrictions, and join the Armed Forces. See the usa.gov page Green Cards and Permanent Residence in the U.S. to find more information about applying for Permanent Residency.