United States immigration law divides the population into two broad categories: citizens and aliens. Aliens are further divided into immigrants, non-immigrants, and aliens with special status (Refugee, Asylee, Temporary Protected Status, etc.). An immigrant is one who has established a long-term residency and is often referred to as a permanent resident, a lawful permanent resident, or a green card holder. In general, immigrants can enjoy many of the benefits of US citizens, but they also have several legal prohibitions, such as they cannot vote, hold public office, etc.. At Shepherd University, students who are permanent residents, refugees and asylees can access federal and state financial aid.
A nonimmigrant is an alien who wishes to be admitted to the United States for a limited, temporary purpose and who plans to depart the United States after completing that purpose. There are over 20 major categories of nonimmigrants, each providing for entry to the United States for a specific, limited activity. Among those, the following are the most applicable to Shepherd University–each includes principal and dependent:
- A category: Employees of foreign governments on official business
- B category: Business or Tourist
- E category: Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor
- F category: Student
- H category: Temporary Worker
- J category: Exchange Visitor (student, non-student)
- WB and WD: Visa Waiver program
Each of these categories above has its own separate benefits and eligibility to study and work in the United States. The tabs to the left offer more detailed information on the student and visiting scholar categories most applicable to a university. Please contact either International Student Affairs or the Director, International Affairs with questions.