M-1 Visa

The M-1 visa is issued to students who wish to pursue full-time study at vocational or non-academic schools (such as community or junior colleges) in the U.S. The schools must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to join the M-1 visa holder in M-2 visa status.

M-1 Quick Facts

  • Applicants must be proficient in English.
  • Applicants must be able to establish that they have sufficient funds to cover all expenses including tuition while in the United States.
  • Applicants must demonstrate intent to return to their home country upon completion of studies.
  • M-1 visa holders are enrolled in full-time study programs.
  • M-1 visa holders may travel in and out of the U.S. freely as long as they have a valid visa.
  • M-1 visa holders may transfer from one school to the other if approved by the USCIS.
  • M-1 visa holders may work part-time on and off-campus. The off-campus work must be related to their field of study and must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • M-1 visa holders can stay in the U.S. until the completion of their studies.
  • M-1 visa holders are not eligible to apply for H-1B visa but may apply for practical training upon completion of studies for a period of 6 months.
  • Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 cannot work in the US.

M-1 Visa Process

  1. The first step is to apply and gain acceptance into a U.S. college or school that is authorized by USCIS to accept foreign students.
  2. The educational institution in the U.S. then sends the related form i.e., Form I-20M-N (Certificate of Eligibility or Nonimmigrant student status for Vocational students).
  3. The applicant completes the form and signs the application.
  4. The overseas applicant then completes the Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant Forms and applies for the visa at his/her local U.S. consulate or embassy with the supporting documents.
  5. If applicant is already in the United States, he/she may apply for change of status to that of a student.