Student and Exchange Visitor Visas

M-1 Visa

M1 Visa is a specific student visa for pupils who seek vocational studies in the U.S. This is different from F-1 Visa since this is designed for ‘non-academic’ studies.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The student must be enrolled in a vocational program in the U.S., which is recognized by the Student and Exchange Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement. 
  • The student’s enrollment in the program must be full-time. 
  • The student must be a proficient English speaker or must enroll in courses that will provide English proficiency. 
  • The student must provide evidence of his/her funds that will prove that s/he will be able to afford his/her stay in the U.S. 
  • The student must provide a residence abroad that s/he has no intention of giving up  Programs You Can Apply with an M-1 Visa:
  • Business  
  • Flight  
  • Cooking 
  • Cosmetology 
  • Mechanics  

Family Members:

The spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 can accompany the applicant as dependents on M-2 status.  


Your visa is valid for up to a year. 

You can get three years of extension depending on the course of your study. 

Yes. You can enter the U.S. 30 days before the start of your program. 

Unlike F-1 beneficiaries, you may not seek employment in the U.S. while studying.

However, upon the completion of your study, you may seek practical training related to your area of study

Yes, you can. For this, you need to request a change of status through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To learn more on this issue, please visit Change My Nonimmigrant Status

Yes. The requirements to be eligible for a transfer are the same as the requirements for M-1 eligibility. But note that you can only transfer to another school within the 6 months beginning with your arrival. 

No. Your family may not seek employment while on M-1 Visa 

Your spouse may not attend a full-time study but can attend vocational or recreational programs part-time.

Your child or children can attend full-time studies only if the study is elementary or secondary level, which is kindergarten through high school.  

Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can leave the U.S. while on M-1 status. 


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