B2 or F1 visa better option for someone interested in visiting US for short-term study/touristic purposes?

A friend of mine from Colombia is looking to spend some time in the US during his next university break. On the one hand, he wants to come here to improve his English to bolster his chances of being accepted by a U.S. university next year for his study abroad semester via taking English classes in the U.S., and on the other, he also wants to see the U.S. a bit in touristic terms and to a lesser extent to hang out with me. As a result, he’s trying to figure out which visa option will be the best for him and give him the best chance to be approved. On the one hand, there’s the B2 with which he could take up to 18 hours of classes a week, and on the other, there’s the F1, with which he could take more class hours. I see these 2 visa options being comparable, as the programs he is looking at under a B2 visa tend to be about 16 hours of weekly study, and the F1 programs, 20-24. So his preference would just be for whatever gives him the best chance of being approved.

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

B-2 is the option for tourist travel.  In order to get a F-1 student visa, one first has to be accepted into a school for a course of study.  without that it is not possible to obtain the F-1 visa.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.

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