The M-1 Vocational Student visa allows eligible foreign nationals to enter the United States to engage as full-time students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training. 

In this article, you will discover how to apply for an M-1 visa. 

M-1 Vocational Student Visa – The Basic Requirements  

Before applying for M-1 nonimmigrant classification, prospective international students must identify whether they qualify to study in an accredited institution.  

The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the government body responsible for designating vocational and non-degree bearing institutions allowed to accept M-1 students. 

 If eligible, the applicant must register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to receive Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) from the chosen institution. 

The M-1 visa is not the appropriate visa for international students focused on language training. Before applying for M-1 classification, students must have a good comprehension of the English language. 

In many cases, applicants submit evidence of their English proficiency with scores on tests such as the IELTS or the TOEFL. 

Student visas are nonimmigrant visas with no direct path to lawful permanent residence (green card) or US citizenship. Accordingly, students must maintain their residence outside of the United States and demonstrate no immigrant intent in the application process. 

M-1 students must also have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire course of study. Form I-20 form provides an estimate of the expenses for one year, which may help applicants to ensure the necessary amount is readily available. 

How to Apply for an M-1 Visa – Taking a Closer Look 

After obtaining approval into the vocational school of their choice, applicants receive Form I-20. This document is necessary to prove that the applicant is legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States. 

The next step is to file Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At the end of the process, the applicant receives a confirmation code which will be needed in the interview process. 

There are two major fees involved in the process – the application fee and the SEVIS fee.  Depending on the US Embassy or Consulate processing the application, there may be additional fees. It is important to save all receipts from paid fees.  

After applying, applicants must schedule an interview at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Each applicant must prepare a document package to bring to the visa appointment. 

With all necessary documents in hand, applicants must attend the interview on the scheduled date.  If the applicant meets the requirements, the official responsible for conducting the interview may approve the application. 

The validity of M-1 visas depends on the period required for students to finish their vocational programs. In most cases, M-1 students are granted visas for the total duration of their studies or shorter. 

Please note that Form I-20 is valid for one year. M-1 students must obtain a new I-20 for each year during their stay in the United States. The maximum period of stay for M-1 students is three years (with renewals included). 

Do You Want to Apply for an M-1 Vocational Student Visa? – Contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today 

Get in touch with Immigration Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for expert legal guidance.