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The M-1 Visa enables people to travel from other countries and legally learn on U.S. campuses for a certain period time. This particular visa program is wonderful for helping students hone their vocational and technical skills. In order for the student to begin this application process for an M-1 visa, he/she must choose a college or learning institution that is approved by the USCIS.
Typical schools approved by the USCIS include vocational high schools, community colleges, or junior colleges. These schools generally offer vocational and technical training. Before a school can qualify for approval from the USCIS, it must show proof that its international program helps students legitimately earn an education instead of work.
Your family (such as your spouse and children) will have the opportunity to accompany you in the states, but you will need to apply for M-2 status. This can be done using the I-20M-N form.
Requirements for an M-1 Visa
You must be able to write, read, and speak the English language proficiently.
You must not possess intent for immigration, and you must retain strong ties to your country of origin.
You must be enrolled at an approved nonacademic technical or vocational institution. You must be involved in a full-time study program.
You must demonstrate intent to vacate the states after completion of your study (graduation).
You must be able to demonstrate that your source of income, financial support, or funding is entirely independent.
Applying for an M-1 Student Visa
Contact your educational institution about supplying an I-20 M-N/ID form. This form is essentially a certificate of eligibility. The visa application form must be submitted, and you should ensure that any required documents are included. This form can be submitted to your U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate, or Consular Office.
Documents to Include
There a number of documents you’ll need in order to satisfy the M-1 visa application requirements. These include:
Your DS visa form for application. If more than one person is applying, separate applications will need to be completed.
A recent photograph of your face. The photograph must be easily relatable to you, and it must display your entire face. If other people are applying with you, they must also supply photographs. The background of the photograph should be light in color, and you should not be wearing any clothing on or around the head.
Your passport. This document makes it possible for you to travel to the states. It must be valid for at least 180 days past your intended length of stay.
Admissions letter. This letter should originate from the prospective school you wish to attend.
An I-20M-N form endorsed with your signature.
If your I-20 form was not processed before September 1, 2004, you will need to provide payment proof for your SEVIS I-901 fee.
Proof that you can financially support yourself for your studies in the states.
Proof that you are proficient in the English language. If you are not proficient in the English language, you must have proof that you plan to become proficient.
Your intent to leave the United States once your program of study ends.
Limitations of the M-1 Visa
The M-1 visa seems like a catch-all solution for immigrants who wish to learn in America, but it does have its disadvantages. After using an M-1 visa to complete a program of study in the US, a student cannot turn around and apply for an H-1B visa. Instead, the student must return to his/her country of origin and begin the H-1B application process from there. Additionally, the family of a student with an M-1 visa cannot work in the U.S. for any reason.
We have many years of hard-won experience with helping countless clients travel to the United States for various reasons. We are professionals who will fight for your human rights to study in the United States. After all, any human being should have the right to study in America if they wish to do so. We are familiar with each and every step of the process when filing for M-1 status, and we can help you do so in a smooth, timely manner. We’ll help you gather the necessary documents so that your chances of a request for more information or denial are greatly minimized.