The M-1 visa applies to international students who wish to pursue vocational studies, non-academic studies, or enroll at a technical school within the United States. Students admitted under the M-1 visa are allowed to remain in the U.S. for the full period of time their studies require. While pursuing their studies under this visa, holders cannot simultaneously work, and therefore must disclose that they have enough financial support to maintain their cost of living during their time within the U.S.
M-1 Visa Study Requirements
To obtain an M-1 visa, you must have a focus of study specified. You must be enrolled full time into a course of study, at least 12 semester or quarter hours, at a junior or community college. Additionally, the M-1 may be permitted for students pursuing an Associate’s degree at a post secondary vocational school, or students with a smaller course load. Vocational or non-academic programs that require at least 18 hours of attendance on a weekly basis are also accepted on the terms that these curriculums are certified by a DSO. A final option for M-1 applicants is to register for a vocational or non-academic study following a high school curriculum also certified by a DSO. This curriculum must require the student to attend the minimum amount of hours considered normal towards graduation.
Students applying for the M-1 visa must show proof of medical insurance and sufficient financial funds that can be readily presented to pay the entire tuition and living costs within the time of study. Bank statements may be used as evidence. Students must also study the needed requirements of their program and make sure they are eligible to enroll. An I-20 form from the school will then be provided to eligible students and must be completed before receiving an M-1 visa. Students must be able to prove their intentions of returning to their home country after they complete their programs.
M-1 Visa Application Process
Once the student has undergone their specific university’s application process and received their I-20 form, the student can continue the M-1 visa application process. Students will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee. Then students will be asked to fill out and submit a DS-16 online application for a non-immigrant visa. Males aged 16-45 will be asked to fill out a DS-157 form used to provide supplemental information. Students will need to possess a valid passport displaying an expiration at least six months after the completion of their program and intended stay within the U.S., photo provided on the passport must meet requirements.
Consult with an Immigration Attorney
If you are a student currently looking to pursue non-academic or vocational studies within the U.S., contact the immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi, PC for more assistance. The visa application process can be difficult and lengthy. However, our immigration attorneys can provide you in-depth assistance on correctly completing and submitting the necessary forms, and supporting documents, allowing you to have more time to focus on your studies. Call and consult an attorney at Johnson & Masumi to begin your M-1 visa application process or information about other student visas.