Admissions and Visa Status

Student Visas

Student visas (academic and vocational) are only available to “school-sponsored” individuals, who receive official US Government documents from a school that has received authorization to enroll nonimmigrant students.

ECPI University is authorized under Federal Law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students at ECPI University in Newport News – Virginia, Northern Virginia – Virginia, Virginia Beach – Virginia, and Raleigh – North Carolina.

Applicants to at ECPI University at Newport News – Virginia, Northern Virginia – Virginia, Virginia Beach – Virginia, or Raleigh – North Carolina must meet all International Admissions Requirements if they:

  • Intend to receive and enter the United States through use of a student visa; or,
  • Are already present in the United States, through lawful use of a student visa, and intend to transfer from another school authorized to enroll nonimmigrant students; or,
  • Are already present in the United States, through the lawful use of non-student visas, and intend to change their in-USA status to that of a nonimmigrant student.

Non-Student Visas and Statuses

The following information applies to international students who:

  • Intend to enroll at ECPI University, after entering the United States on a non-student visa; and,
  • While residing in the USA are maintaining and intend to maintain their non-student status for the duration of their studies at the University.

If you meet the above two criteria, you will not be required to fulfill all of ECPI University’s International Admissions Requirements. However, either the University’s Principle Designated School Official or the International Admissions Advisor must first clear your inquiry and/or application and direct you to appropriate campus Office of Admissions personnel to continue processing your application for admission. Campus-based personnel will assist you with the specific requirements of your admission which will include proof of your non-student, nonimmigrant status.

Eligible international students who do not require a student visa may apply to any of the University’s eleven on-ground locations, as well as the University’s online campus. Continue reading “What Are Non-Student Visas?” for more information on Information on eligibility criteria.

International Campus Locations: Newport News – Virginia, Northern Virginia – Virginia, Virginia Beach – Virginia, and Raleigh – North Carolina.

What Are Non-Student Visas?

There are many different types of visas through which non-Americans can enter the United States. There are also numerous countries that engage in visa waiver treaties with the United States. The laws governing these categories and waivers as well as the individual responsibilities, rights and privileges, associated with them, are subject to frequent change.

Each visa category (or visa waiver) has different responsibilities associated with it. Beneficiaries of a United States nonimmigrant visa (and those who enter the United States through visa waiver programs) must strictly adhere to all the responsibilities associated with their individual statuses.

The immigration status of any individual living temporarily within the United States (under the auspices of a visa or waiver status) is strictly a matter between the nonimmigrant person and the US Federal Government. To maintain their status, nonimmigrants who obtain student (academic or vocational) visas must collaborate with the schools which enroll them.

The statements which follow, concerning non-student visas, are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as official, legal guidance.

While, ECPI University’s Principle Designated Official provides direction and assistance concerning student visa issues, including help with changing from other nonimmigrant categories to student status, the University urges all nonimmigrant persons planning to enroll to research and discuss attending school with an experienced immigration practitioner (for example, an Information Officer of the US Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security, or an immigration attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association).

Non-Student Visas

  • Some types of permit study as a secondary or casual condition of stay, without any restrictions.
  • Some types permit study with restrictions.
  • Some types, including visa waivers, completely prohibit study!

Visa List

The list which follows includes common nonimmigrant visa and visa waiver categories but is not exhaustive. For a complete list of nonimmigrant alien statuses and the conditions associated with them, visit http://www.dhs.gov/visa-types.

Visa List
CATEGORY DESCRIPTION ELIGIBLE FOR ON-GROUND or ONLINE STUDY
A-1, A-2, A-3 Foreign Diplomatic Personnel/Government Official and Dependents May engage in incidental, full or part-time study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may engage in part-or-full-time study.

B-1, B-2 Visitor for Business, Visitor for Tourism May not enroll in school while in B status.

May apply for admission, but may not begin studies until student new status (and if applicable, new student visa) is obtained.

C-1, C-2, C-3 Aliens in Transit Study usually not possible due to short length of authorized stay.
D-1, D-2 Alien Crewmen Study usually not possible due to short length of authorized stay.
E-1, E-2 Treaty Trader/Investor May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

F-2 Dependent of F-1 Student (Spouse or Children) Current US Federal regulations stipulate:

“The F-2 spouse of an F-1 student may not engage in full-time study…”

“The F-2 child [of an F-1 student] may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade)….”

“The F-2 spouse or the F-2 child [of an F-1 student] may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature.”

“An F-2 spouse desiring to engage in full-time study must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1, J-1 or M-1 status.”

“An F-2 child desiring to engage in full-time study [other than full time study in an elementary or secondary school] must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1 J-1 or M-1 status.”

[ECPI University is not authorized to enroll J-1 nonimmigrants.]

Currently, there is conflicting information regarding:

  1. Whether an F-2 may begin study after a change of status application is submitted or after change of status is approved; and,
  2. What constitutes avocational or recreational study.

ECPI University will accept applications for admission from F-2 nonimmigrants. F-2 nonimmigrants are advised to consult a qualified immigration attorney to obtain competent legal advice concerning their intentions and the impact which attending school will have on their status.

G-1, G-2,
G-3, G-4
G-5
Representative of International Organization
Personal Employee of G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 Visa Holder
May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

H-1B Temporary Worker in a Specialty Occupation
H-1C Registered Nurses in Health Professional Shortage Area
H-2A Agricultural Worker
H-2B Skilled or Unskilled Worker
H-4 Dependent of H Visa Holder
H-3 Trainee Study usually not possible as Trainee is already engaged in a training (and educational) program through a sponsoring provider.

However, may engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status, especially if incidental study compliments trainee’s sponsored program.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

I Representative of Foreign Information Media May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

J-1 Exchange Scholar/Student/Visitor/Au Pair ECPI University is currently not authorized to enroll J-1 nonimmigrant aliens. With written permission from the J-1’s program sponsor, may engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain terms and conditions of J-1 status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

J-2 Dependent of J-1 Generally can study full or part time without restriction.
K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4 Fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen/derivative children of K-1/spouse of US citizen for whom spousal immediate relative petition has been filed/derivative children on K-3 Study usually not possible due to short length of stay in nonimmigrant status before petitioning for legal permanent residence to the United States.
L-1
L-2
Intracompany Transferee/Dependent May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

M-2 Dependent of M-1 Current US Federal regulations stipulate:

“The M-2 spouse of an M-1 student may not engage in full-time study…”

“The M-2 child [of an M-1 student] may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade)….”

“The M-2 spouse or the M-2 child [of an F-1 student] may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature.”

“An M-2 spouse desiring to engage in full-time study must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1, J-1 or M-1 status.”

“An M-2 child desiring to engage in full-time study [other than full time study in an elementary or secondary school] must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1 J-1 or M-1 status.”

[ECPI University is not authorized to enroll J-1 nonimmigrants.]

Currently, there is conflicting information regarding:

  1. Whether an M-2 may begin study after a change of status application is submitted or after change of status is approved; and,
  2. What constitutes avocational or recreational study.

ECPI University will accept applications for admission from M-2 nonimmigrants. M-2 nonimmigrants are advised to consult a qualified immigration attorney to obtain competent legal advice concerning their intentions and the impact which attending school will have on their status.

NATO 1-6 NATO Personnel May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

O-1, O-2, O-3 Person of Extraordinary Ability/Accompanying Personnel/Dependent Full or part-time study permissible, but usually not possible given responsibilities associated with status.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

P-1 Internationally Recognized Athlete or Entertainment Group or Essential Support Personnel May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

P-2 Artist or Entertainer Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program
P-3 Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program
P-4 Dependent of P-1, P-2 or P-3
Q-1 Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program and dependents Study usually not possible as Cultural Exchange Participant is already engaged in program activities through a sponsoring provider.

However, may engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status, especially if incidental study compliments exchange -sponsored program.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

Q-2
Q-3
R-1
R-2
Religious Worker
Dependent of R-1
May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

S-5, S-6, S-7 Alien Assisting in Law Enforcement/Dependent Full or part-time study permissible, but usually not possible given responsibilities associated with status.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

TN, TD Trade NAFTA (citizens of Canada and Mexico)
Dependent of TN
May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

U-1, U-2,
U-3, U-4
Victims of Certain Crimes/Spouses/Minor Children Full or part-time study permissible, but usually not possible given responsibilities associated with status.

Dependents may study full-or-part-time.

V-1, V-2, V-3 Spouses, minor children, and derivative dependents of lawful permanent residents who are beneficiaries of a family-based 2nd preference immigrant visa petition filed on or before Dec. 21, 2000 and have been waiting for immigrant status for 3 years or more. May engage in incidental study while continuing to maintain valid status.

School activities cannot disrupt the duties and activities for which the visa and status was granted.

WB, WT Visa Waiver for Business
Visa Waiver for Tourism
Stay in US is limited to 90 days. May not study. Usually requires return to home country to obtain student visa, followed by re-entry in new status.

Note: The nonimmigrant status of any child dependent of a nonimmigrant alien expires when the child reaches age 21. At age 21, these children must either obtain their own independent nonimmigrant alien status or leave the United States. (Certain “aging out” exceptions apply for dependents in G and NATO nonimmigrant status.)