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Introduction to M-1 Visa for Students

Have you heard about M-1 visa for students? This is a visa that is being issued to a full-time vocational or nonacademic student. There are not too many of those.

M-1 visa has many disadvantages over F-1 visa.

For one, all vocational programs are generally very short in duration. If you can be expected to stay four years in USA on a F-1 visa to get a Bachelor's degree, you will probably be staying one year on this visa. If you did not complete your program of study within one year, you will have to apply for extension.

It is much harder to transfer from one school to another school if you are coming here on a M-1 visa. If you want to transfer, you should do so within the first few months of study. Remember this visa is only for one year.

It is not the only disadvantage of having this visa. You cannot work during your studies. You cannot change your program of study. Your immediate relatives can come to USA, but they cannot work either. In another words, you must have ample financial funds to last one year.

Some people think they can attend any school. However, you can only attend school the immigration service has already approved. If the school has just been built, the good chance is that it has not been approved. Your best bet will be attending any school that received a state accreditation and has been in business for years.

We recommend using a US Immigration Lawyer to get an extension if you need one or any problems you might encounter with this visa.

There is one advantage of having a M-1 visa.

You still might get a permission to stay in USA after your graduation. You can work several months (up to six months) after completion of your studies. However, your work has to be in the same field you went to school for. Generally, the immigration service recognizes the fact that vocational school graduates have to have some experience to become more employable in their countries. Nevertheless, the immigration officials will strictly scrutinize your employment prior to granting you a permission to work.

The main reason for such a strict scrutiny is because a M-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa. It means you must have intent to come back home when you graduate. Any desire to prolong your stay can mean you would like to stay in USA permanently. Thus, your request to work after studies' completion must be analyzed.

Please return to M-1 visa Home page.

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