An M-1 Visa is a vocational student visa. The M-1 Visa allows you to come to the U.S. as a full-time vocational or nonacademic student. You are never allowed to change your course of study and you may not work during your course of study.
- To qualify for an M-1 visa you first must be accepted to an approved school. The school must be approved by the U.S. government. Once you have been accepted, the school will issue you a certificate (SEVIS Form I-20).
- You must also be a bona fide student pursing a full course of study. A full course of study depends upon the program. For technical, vocational or another type of nonacademic program, you must attend at least 18 hours per week for classroom study. However, 22 hours minimum is needed if the course is primarily laboratory work.
- The program you are enrolled in must lead to the attainment of a vocational objective, such as a certificate.
- You must also know English well enough to study effectively.
- You will also need to show that you have enough money to support yourself without working for the entire length of the program. You will need to show at the time you apply for the M-1 visa that you have enough cash on hand to cover all expenses for the first-year.
- Additionally, because student visas are temporary, you will need to show your intent to return home after you have completed your studies.