M-1 student visa:

The M-1 visa is suitable for foreign students wishing to attend a full time vocational
or non-academic course, other than language training, at colleges, universities, specialized training schools or conservatories in the United States.

With an M-1 student visa, a person can remain in the country for one year or for as long as he or she is enrolled as a full time student in the course of study plus 30-days to prepare to leave the U.S.

The M-1 visa holder is able to apply for a change of status to other temporary status categories or to adjust status to permanent residence but he or she cannot change to H-1B status if the employment offered is based on knowledge gained through studies while in M-1 status.

M-1 visa privileges:

The M-1 visa holder can:

  • travel in and out of the U.S. (on short trips) or remain in the country continuously until  completion of the study program;
  • transfer from one school to another by notifying the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services);
  • work lawfully on-campus on a part-time basis;
  • work lawfully off-campus on a project study that's related to his or her area of study; and
  • apply for an M-2 visa for family members accompanying him or her to the United States. The M-2 visa is issued to the spouse and minor children (under 21) of the M-1 visa holder. These dependent visa holders can stay in the United States as long as the principal visa holder remains in legal status. 

Note: Once an M-1 holder is 6 months into a program of study, he/she is generally disallowed from changing his/her course of study.

Extensions of stay:

After the completion of studies, the M-1 visa holder can apply for an extension of stay if he/she wishes to pursue practical training. In general, a person holding an M-1 visa will be authorized to have one month of practical training for every four months of study he/she has finished. The student will be limited to six months total training time.


The Law Office of Julia Lamanna
                    tel:  212-844-9668

305 Broadway 7th Floor, New York NY 10007                      fax: 212-844-9864


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