Passport & Consular Services

Am I Allowed to Work in the United States With an M1 Visa?

In general, the primary purpose of an M-1 visa is to pursue vocational or non-academic studies in the United States rather than engaging in employment. Therefore, the default rule is that employment is not allowed for M-1 visa holders.

However, there are limited exceptions that may allow for employment under certain circumstances. M-1 visa holders may be eligible for practical training opportunities directly related to their field of study. This practical training is typically known as “M-1 practical training” and must be authorized by the Designated School Official (DSO) at your school.

M-1 practical training is subject to specific regulations and limitations. The duration of the practical training is generally limited to the length of the program or a maximum of six months, whichever is shorter. Additionally, the training must be directly related to the vocational program and must be approved by the DSO before you engage in any employment.

It’s important to note that unauthorized employment or working outside the scope of your M-1 visa can have serious immigration consequences and may jeopardize your legal status in the United States. It is advisable to consult with your Designated School Official (DSO) or an immigration attorney for guidance specific to your situation and to ensure compliance with the regulations governing employment for M-1 visa holders.

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