Study & Exchange

The Student (F-1/M-1) Visa provides opportunities for qualified applicants to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. With thousands of academic programs, world-class institutions, and unmatched flexibility, the United States offers a wealth of higher-education opportunities. Visit the Department of State’s EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more.

The Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa program provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the United States to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. To learn more about exchange visitor visa programs, program sponsors, and more, please visit

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating countries who intend to study cannot travel on the VWP or on visitor (B) visas, except to undertake recreational study as part of a tourist visit. Students must travel to the United States with student (F-1 or M-1) visas. For more information on the VWP, see Visa Waiver Program.

For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa can be used. Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate, is permitted on a visitor (B) visa. Learn more about Visitor Visas.

Study leading to a U.S. conferred degree or certificate is not permitted on a visitor (B) visa, even if it is for a short duration. For example, distance learning which requires a period of time on the institution’s U.S. campus requires an F-1 visa.

Information About Reciprocity Fees

Executive Order 13780, which was signed by the President in March 2017, required the Department of State to undertake a worldwide review of nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements.  After careful review of the visa regime of Benin, the reciprocity provisions of U.S. law require the Department of State to bring parity to those visa categories where there is a current imbalance in the total cost of obtaining a visa.

Effective January 21, 2020, the following supplementary reciprocity fees are required for the issuance of approved visa applications for Beninese passport holders in the following categories.  Please note, these reciprocity fees are in addition to the application fee and are paid only if the visa application is approved.

Visa Category Fee
F1/F2 – Students (6-month visa) $0
F1/F2 – Students (36-month visa) $681
H1B/H4 – Workers $651
I – Journalists $87
L1/L2 – Transfer Workers $57
R1/R2 – Religious Workers $502

Rate: 1 USD = 650 CFA rounded up to the nearest thousand.

If you are a holder of a passport from a different nationality or would like more information about reciprocity fees, please visit