Minnesota M1 Visa Vocational Students Attorney

M-1 Student Visa

The M-1 visa is a vocational student category that includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs aside from language training.  A student may be eligible to apply for this visa category if:

  • The student is enrolled in an academic educational program, vocational program, or in a language-training program;
  • The school has been approved by the Student Exchange Visitor’s Program and Immigration & Customs Enforcement;
  • The student is enrolled at full-time status at the institution;
  • The student is proficient in English or enrolled in courses that lead to English proficiency;
  • The student has sufficient funds available for self-support during the entirety of the proposed course of study; and
  • The student maintains a residence abroad they have no intent to give up.

First time M-1 visa applicants are usually required to appear in-person for an interview.  Keep in mind that each consulate and embassy sets its own policies and procedures pertaining to the application and interview processes and it is best to contact your local consulate or the American Embassy to obtain more information on their process and requirements of applicants.

Required Documentation

All applicants are required to provide the following:

  • A Form I-20 obtained from a U.S. college, school or university. Be sure to provide all four pages of the I-20 form. The form must also be signed by the applicant and by a school official in the appropriate places
  • Form DS156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application together with a Form DS158, Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant. Both forms must be completed and signed. A separate application form is needed for children, even if they are included in a parent’s passport
  • All male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45, regardless of nationality and regardless of where they apply, must complete and submit a Form DS157, Supplement Visa Application in addition to the DS156 and DS158. Some American embassies and consulates also require female and other male applicants to complete the DS157. Applicants from state sponsors of terrorism age 16 and over, irrespective of gender, without exception are required to complete the DS157. Seven countries are now designated as state sponsors of terrorism, including North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, and Libya.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States
  • One photograph 2 inches square (50x50mm) for each applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background
  • A receipt for visa processing fee
  • A receipt showing payment of the visa application fee for each applicant, including each child listed in a parent’s passport who is also applying for a U.S. visa


If the applicant has dependents, they are also required to provide:

  • Proof of the student’s relationship to his or her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.)
  • It is preferred that families apply for F1 and F2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

Additional Documentation

Applicants of the M1 student Visa are not required, but must be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and/or diplomas from previous institutions they attended
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, and GMAT
  • Financial evidence that shows the applicant or applicant’s parents who are sponsoring applicant have sufficient funds to cover the tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study


M-1 applicants may participate in practical training only when they have completed their courses.  Any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized by the designated school official and USCIS prior to beginning any work.

Period of Stay

M-1 students will be allowed to stay in the United States for the duration of their program as long as they remain in fulltime student status.  A student who has completed coursework shown on the I-20 form and any authorized practical training is granted an additional thirty (30) days to depart from the United States.  Note that this is a fixed time period not to exceed one (1) year.  The thirty (30) days to depart is allotted so long as the student had maintained fulltime student status.  They may receive up to three (3) years of extensions for the total program.

Schedule an Appointment

Our immigration attorneys offer free initial appointments.  Call us at 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free case evaluation form below) to learn more about your M1 Student Visa matter.

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