M-1 Nonacademic Studies


The M-1 visa is available to foreign nationals looking to study vocational or other non-academic programs, not including language training. Students in the M-1 category may be eligible to work upon completion of their studies if the position is related to their area of study. This employment must be authorized by the Designated School Official and USCIS.

Accompanying or following dependents are required to apply for an M-2 Visa and are not eligible for employment in the U.S.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Enrolled as a student in a vocational or non-academic program
  • Program is offered by an accredited vocational Organization
  • Your proficiency in English
  • Sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study
  • You have a residence in a country outside the United States and has no intention of abandoning it

Duration of Status

Foreign nationals must be enrolled in a program to maintain M-1 status. Upon completion of the program students have 30 days to depart the U.S.

Future Eligibility

Foreign nationals in M-1 status may be eligible to apply for certain Change of Status or for Adjustment of Status, given that they meet the requirements.

What We Do

  • Provide assistance in the M-1/M-2 Application and evidence required
  • Review applications to identify potential concerns that may affect the outcome of the application
  • Provide guidance in maintaining the M-1/M-2 Status and working while on an M-1/M-2 visa
  • Provide assistance to M-1/M-2 holders within the United States that wish to extend their visa, apply for a Change of Status or Adjustment of Status

Accruing Unlawful Presence

On Aug. 9, 2018 USCIS issued a policy memorandum (Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants) changing how the agency calculates unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F, J, and M non-immigrant status, including F-2, J-2, and M-2 dependents, who fail to maintain status in the United States. 

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