Vocational Trainees - M1

The M-1 visa category includes foreign students who wish to enter the United States to study at a recognized vocational or nonacademic institution.  You may search for approved schools here.  Language programs are not permitted under this category.  

Qualified Schools can include the following:

1. A community college or junior college which provides vocational or technical training and which awards recognized associate degrees;
2. A vocational high school; or,
3. A school that provides vocational or nonacademic training other than language training.

The process for obtaining (or reinstatement of) M-1 status is very similar to F-1 student status.  
 
Validity of M-1 Status

M-1 stats is typically granted for the period of study set forth on Form I-20MN (plus 30 days), or for one year, whichever is less.

Relatives

The spouse and minor children of an M-1 student may enter the United States in M-2 status. The accompanying spouse may not engage in full time study, however, and the accompanying children may only engage in full-time study if in kindgergarden through 12th grade.
 
Remaining in Status

The M-1 student must attend his or her program on a full-time basis.  For community or junior college M-1 students, this means 12 credit hours so long as that is deemed full-time by the institution.  For post-secondary vocational students, at least 18 hours of classroom instruction or 22 clock hours qualify.  At a vocational or other nonacademic high school, full-time is the minimum number of hours required for normal progress towards graduation.  On-line courses do not count towards the full courseload unless the course requires the student's physical presence.

Extension or Change of Status

M-1 students are eligible to extend or change their status.  However, students cannot transfer to another school after six months of status unless the student is unable to remain at the original school for reasons beyond the student's control. 
 
Work Authorization

M-1 students can only work for post-completion practical training (and only after completion of studies).  M-2 dependents are not eligible to work.