Passport & Consular Services

What Can I do With an M1 Visa in the USA?

With an M-1 visa, you can engage in specific activities related to your approved vocational or non-academic program in the United States. Here’s what you can do with an M-1 visa:

Study at an SEVP-Certified School: You can pursue your approved vocational or non-academic program at a school that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This may include technical or vocational training programs, such as those for cosmetology, cooking, automotive repair, or other similar fields.

Engage in Practical Training: M-1 visa holders may be eligible for limited practical training opportunities. This practical training must be directly related to the field of study and authorized by the school’s Designated School Official (DSO). The duration of practical training will depend on the specific program and is subject to certain limitations.

Stay in the U.S. for the Duration of the Program: You can stay in the United States for the duration of your approved vocational or non-academic program. The M-1 visa is typically granted for the duration of the program as indicated on your Form I-20. It’s important to maintain full-time enrollment and comply with all program requirements to maintain your legal status.

Travel In and Out of the U.S.: You can travel in and out of the United States using your M-1 visa, as long as your visa is valid and you have the necessary documents, including a valid passport, valid Form I-20 with a valid travel signature, and any other supporting documents recommended by your Designated School Official (DSO).

Dependent Accompanying or Joining: If your M-1 visa allows for dependents, such as spouse or children, they may be eligible for an M-2 visa. M-2 visa holders can accompany or join you in the United States during your vocational or non-academic program. However, M-2 visa holders are not eligible for employment authorization.

It’s important to note that the M-1 visa is not intended for academic study, such as pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you wish to pursue academic studies, the F-1 visa category is typically more appropriate.

As with any visa, it’s important to abide by the terms and conditions of the M-1 visa and maintain your legal status. Consult with your Designated School Official (DSO) for guidance and any specific limitations or requirements related to your M-1 visa program.

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