Vocational Students ("M-1")

The M Visa is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa for those wishing to pursue nonacademic or vocational studies, other than language training.


  • Each applicant for a student visa must pay a non-refundable US $45 application fee.
  • An Application Form DS-156 completed and signed.
  • A valid passport for travel to the US and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One photograph 1 and ½ inches square (37 x 37 mm) for each application showing full face, without a head covering, against a light background.
  • Form I-20M-N from the school you plan on attending.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds.

M-1 students are not permitted to change schools after six months, unless there are circumstances beyond their control. The application for change of school within six months should be made on Form I-159. The student should include their I-20s from both their old and new schools.

M-1 students are not authorized to accept on or off campus employment. They are, however, allowed to participate in practical training following the completion of their course of study. Requests for practical training must be submitted no more than 60 days before the completion of studies, and no later than 30 days after completion. Practical training is not to exceed six months.

Entry & Length of Stay:

The holder of a student M-1 visa may enter the US up to 30 days before the designated registration date on the I-20 A-B or I-20M. The 30-day limitation does not apply to students returning to resume studies; they may enter the U.S. at any time. The holder of an M-1 visa may remain in the United States for the period of time it will take to complete the course of study a indicated n the I-2-M plus 30 day, or for one year, whichever is less.

Spouses, Children under the age of 21 who is wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States for the duration of his/her stay require derivative M-2 visas. Spouses and/or children who do not intend to reside in the United States with the principal visa holder, but visit for vacations only, may be eligible to apply for Visitor Visa (B-2) or travel visa free under Visa Waiver Program if qualified.

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