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Foreign students pursuing academic degrees are generally given F-1 visas or M-1 visas if enrolled in a vocational institution. A student's spouse and children may also be eligible for visas for the same length of time as the student. Students on an F-1 visa will generally be allowed to stay in the U.S. for the full amount of time to pursue their course of study, plus an additional 60 days or so to give the student time to leave. Students on an M-1 visa may be limited to a period of one year or less, depending on the length of the study. Exchange students receive J visas, which often require a two-year home residency after the exchange period. This means the student must return to his or her home country for at least two years before applying for a different immigration status.
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