U.S. Visas: M-1
The M-1 is a student visa granted to applicants who want to pursue a full course of academic study at a U.S. vocational or other nonacademic institution.
What are the Requirements for an M-1 Visa?
CHANGE OF STATUS IN THE U.S.:
If the applicant is presently in the United States, in valid status, VISANOW can file an application for a change of status to M-1 to the USCIS.
M-1 APPLICATION AT THE U.S. CONSULATE:
If the applicant is residing outside of the United States, the applicant will submit Form DS-156, DS-158, and possibly Form DS-157 to the Consular office in the country where he/she resides. VISANOW can prepare this application on your behalf.
An interview at the local U.S. embassy is required for almost all applicants for M-1 visas. The waiting times for the interviews will vary. If the M-1 visa is approved, the embassy will issue a visa stamp in the applicant’s passport within a week of the interview. The officer may request that some applicants provide additional information.
Applicants for an M-1 visa must show that:
- They have “nonimmigrant intent” i.e. intent to depart the U.S. after the completion of their course of study.
- They have been accepted by an approved school in the United States, as evidenced by the certificate of eligibility (Form I-20A-B), signed by the school official and the applicant;
- Register in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), an online system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students and exchange visitors and their dependents
- Possess sufficient funds or have made other arrangements to cover tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study in the U.S. ;
- They will be pursuing a full course of study in the U.S.:
- Study at a community college or junior college certified by a school official to consist of at least 12 semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term, except where the student needs a lesser course load to complete the course of study during the current term.
- Study for at least 12 hours weekly or its equivalent in a postsecondary vocational or other business school, but not in a language training program except one in the English language at the school where he or she will engage in a vocational or technical course, which confers associate or other degrees or whose credits are accepted unconditionally by at least three institutions of higher learning.
- Study in a vocational or other nonacademic curriculum, but not in a language training program except one in the English language at the school where he or she will engage in the vocational or technical training, certified by a designated school official to consist of 18 hours of classroom attendance a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction, or at least 22 hours per week if the dominant part of the course of instruction consists of shop or laboratory work.
- Study in a vocational or nonacademic high school curriculum, for not less than the minimum hours prescribed by the school for normal progress towards graduation.
Can an M-1 Student Accept Employment?
M-1 students may obtain permission for practical training to begin only after completion of the course of study. An M-1 student may be granted one period of practical training in the field of study, fixed at one month for every four months of a full course of study but not exceeding a total of six months.
How Long is the M-1 Visa Valid?
Students on an M-1 visa are admitted for one year or for the period necessary to complete their course of study plus 30 days grace period, whichever is less.