Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

"Do I need an F-1 visa if I want to study English in the United States?" The answer to that question depends on a few things: what country you come from and how long you want to stay in the U.S.
There are some countries that have partnered with the U.S. as part of the U.S.'s Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of these countries do not have to have a visa when visiting the U.S. for only a short time. You can read the full list of 38 participating countries at If you are a citizen of one of these countries and you want to come to the United States to study English, you are allowed to stay for up to 90 days without applying for a visa. However, you have to take an English program that is less than 18 hours a week.

This is a great option for students who want to use their winter break or summer vacation to study or those who want to study English before going back to attend college in their own countries. This can also be useful for students who have studied English before and want to take one level as a refresher or specifically to improve conversation skills.

However, there is one drawback to studying in the U.S. without a visa. If you decide that you want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to return to your home country to go through the visa application process before you will be allowed to come back to the U.S. 

Optimus Language school in Orange County, California is a SEVIS approved language school and can issue the I-20 form needed for an F-1 visa application. 


Published on May 2, 2016

A leading English language school accredited by the CEA (Commission on English Language Accreditation) and approved by SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) located in Los Angeles, California. Learn English in LA with our ESL classes, TOEFL preparation, and English speaking classes. Are you serious about improving your English? Join a class today!