M-1 Visa

The M-1 visa has no limit on the number of persons who can apply. Any student who fits the requirements could be granted a visa.

What Is M-1 Visa ?

Students who wish to pursue vocational and non-academic courses other than language training in the U.S. can apply for an M-1 visa. Vocational education includes cooking classes, technical courses, mechanical classes, flight school, and cosmetology. The M-1 visa has no limit on the number of persons who can apply. Any student who fits the requirements could be granted a visa.

Who Can Apply for the M-1 visa?

To be allowed to apply for an M-1 visa and to qualify for it-

  • You must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program.
  • Your school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution.
  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency.
  • You must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study.
  • You must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up.
  • You can reach out to our immigration lawyers in case you need any assistance in determining your eligibility for an M-1 visa application.

M-1 Visa Documentation Requirements

You should present the following documents when applying for an M-1 visa:

  • A valid passport with 6 months extension after the expiration date of your visa.
  • DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Your visa appointment letter.
  • A recent photograph (2 x 2 inches) taken in the last six months.
  • Receipts that prove you have paid your fees.
  • Your original I-20 form and one copy.
  • Proof of your educational qualifications such as:
    •  Degrees and diplomas.
    • Transcripts.
    • Standardized test scores, etc.
  • Proof of your financial stability, such as:
    • Bank statements for the last 3 years.
    • Tax information for the last 3 years.
    • Loans to finance your stay in the U.S (if applicable).
    • Scholarship for your education in the U.S, provide all relevant information (if applicable).
    • If an individual will support you in the U.S, submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and the person’s bank and tax return information for the last 3 years.
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Other Type Of Student Visa

How to Apply for an M-1 Visa?

The application process for the M-1 visa is quite similar to the application process of the F-1 visa. These are the necessary steps you should take to apply for an M-1 visa:

Step-1: Get your I-20 Form

After you are accepted into the vocational school of your choice, they will give you the I-20 form. With that form, you can initiate the application process.

Step-2: Submit DS-160 form online

The first form you’ll have to submit online is the DS-160. You should fill in information about your background, objective in the United States, and program of study. When you submit the form, you will be given a confirmation code and a page, which you will need for the interview and document file later on.

Step-3: Pay the visa application fee

For the M-1 visa, the application fee is $160. Besides, there might also be extra fees depending on the Embassy to which you are applying. If you are from a specific country, you may be required to pay a visa issuance or reciprocity fee, which the U.S. Embassy determines. Make sure that you keep all your receipts of the fees that you have paid.
Step-4: Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee

Since all international students in the U.S are registered in SEVIS, a fee also needs to be paid. The SEVIS I-901 fee for the M-1 visa is $350. You should pay and keep the receipt as you will need it later.

Step-5: Schedule your interview

For your visa appointment, you will need to schedule an interview. Try to do this as soon as possible because U.S. embassies have a heavy workload, and it may take some time to get an appointment. You will receive an interview appointment letter once you have scheduled the interview, which you must attach to your documents file.

Step-6: Compile your document file

Your document file should be completed with all necessary forms. You should have it with you when you go to your visa appointment.

Step-7: Attend your interview

At last, attend your visa interview. Prepare all of your paperwork and be ready to answer questions during the interview. Your plans for visiting the United States, your financial condition, and your ties to your native country will all be discussed during the M-1 visa interview. The interviewer might also ask you for proof of your relationship with any dependents you plan to bring along.
On an M-1 visa, students can pursue their vocational studies full-time and get an associate’s or any other form of degree. You can also receive a driver’s license, open a bank account, transfer schools during the first six months of their program, have access to healthcare, and work under specified circumstances.
However, M-1 students are not allowed to –

  • Work full-time out of campus.
  • Change their program or transfer to another institution after six months of beginning their program.
  • Continue higher education in the U.S to get their Bachelor’s or another type of degree.

F-1 visas are different from the M-1 because, unlike M-1 visas, F-1 visas allow students to enroll in academic and degree-bearing education, such as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree. It also allows students to transfer to any school at any time and work on practical training outside of campus. In addition, students with an F-1 visa can also enroll in language courses, while M-1 students cannot.

M-1 Visa Processing Time

The M-1 visa takes only a few days to process. Processing takes place prior to your visa interview. There are times when you will receive a response right after your visa interview, with the interviewer either congratulating you or explaining why you were denied. However, you should anticipate a processing time of at least four weeks. Do not be concerned if it takes longer than expected. Most likely, the Embassy was overburdened and couldn’t answer as quickly as it would have liked.

M-2 Dependents Visa

An M2 visa is available to the M-1 visa holder’s spouse or unmarried children under 21. The M2 visa allows dependents to study in the United States with the M-1 visa holder. The M2 dependents get individual I-20 forms, but they too must return to their home country once the M-1 visa expires.
The M-1 visa application can be best handled by experienced immigration lawyers like the Law Office Of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, New York.
We have 20+ years of experience in processing M-1 visa applications and can help you in your application process. Because of our experience in this field, we are able to anticipate problems and find solutions.
Reach out to the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, at prashanthi@reddyesq.com or call us at 212-354-1010.


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