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Recreational studies

Region: Ontario Answer # 1036

While a student visa is normally required for a foreign national to study in the USA, an individual may be permitted to enter the USA as a visitor (B2) and partake in certain types of recreational studies. In order to be eligible, the individual must enter the USA primarily for tourism and may only engage in study that is incidental to the visit. The course must be short, recreational and not used towards a degree or academic certification.

Specifically, an individual who qualifies under the above circumstances may enter the USA as a B-2 visitor. Canadians do not require visas to enter the USA and may be admitted in B2 status with their Canadian passports. Citizens of countries that are members of the Visa Waiver Program do not require visas, but are required to register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in order to be eligible to travel to the USA as B2 visitors. Citizens of other countries are required to apply for a valid visitor visa to the USA at a consulate abroad before travel.

While in the USA, a visitor may partake in a short course (such as a short, recreational cooking course), provided that the study is not the primary purpose of the visit. Under these circumstances an I-20 is not required and the individual need not apply for a student visa. However, if the primary intent of entering the USA is to study, if the course is for an extended period of time, or if any degree or academic certificate is conferred, a student visa is required. Learning remotely with a portion of time spent on campus also requires a student visa.

A criminal record will prevent you from entering the USA or obtaining your USA immigration status. To erase your Canadian criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 , or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

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