M-1 Vocational School Visa

The M-1 Vocational School Visa is made for students who intend on enrolling in vocational studies in a United States institution.

Vocational studies include:

  • Mechanical courses
  • Technical courses
  • Cooking classes
  • Cosmetology
  • Flight school

The good thing about the M-1 visa is that it does not have a determined limit so any student who is a good fit and who meets the legal eligibility requirements can be granted the visa. Students who enter the United States with an M-1 visa can complete their studies. They also have the right to open a bank account, get their driver’s license, have access to healthcare, and only in some conditions, they are also allowed to work. Once a student on an M-1 visa is enrolled in a school, they can transfer schools within the first 6 months of starting their program.

What can not be done on an M-1 visa in San Antonio, Texas?

Students on an M-1 Visa are granted many privileges, but there are certain things they are not allowed to do in San Antonio. If you have an M-1 Visa you are not allowed to work full-time out of your campus. You are also expected to complete your program full-time and are not allowed to study as a part-time student. You are also not allowed to continue to higher education such as a bachelor’s degree and you must remain in the institution that selected you after 6 months of being registered in your program.

If you wish to continue your education after completing your program you should enroll for an F-1 visa instead of an M-1 as that gives you the liberty to go and get a bachelor’s degree. The F-1 visa comes with more benefits such as allowing you to work off-campus and giving you access to language courses as well.

Who qualifies for an M-1 visa?

To qualify for an M-1 visa you must first get accepted by a U.S educational SEVP Institution. Once you are accepted into the school, they will register you into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and give you Form I-20 so you can apply for an M-1 visa.

Apart from getting accepted into an institution, you are also required to have high English proficiency. The reason for this is because you will be expected to understand your classes and participate in class discussions. You can prove your proficiency in English by taking standardized tests such as the TOEFL or IELTS.

Another factor that will be weighed significantly before you get your M-1 visa is how strong your ties to your home country are. If the Visa Officer believes you are trying to come to the United States permanently on an M-1 visa they will reject your visa and if there was any fraud involved, they can ban you from ever trying to enter the United States again.

You must be able to prove to them that you have many commitments back home and you have every intention to return to your home country after you have completed your education. Anything such as family ties, or assets and property back home can be used to prove your intent to return.

You should also be able to finance your education and your stay in the United States. Documentation should be provided to prove that you have enough money to finance your stay for the time period you will be studying and if you have any dependents with you, your financial situation should reflect that you will be able to financially provide for them during that time.

How much time will it take to process my M-1 visa?

After you have been approved by a school, and you have submitted all your documents, you can expect a minimum of four weeks for your application to be processed. The exact amount of time varies from case to case and also on the load that immigration officers have at the time of year you apply.

After you have been approved, you can remain in the United States for as long as your visa is valid. You may be granted the visa for the entire duration of your studies, or only part-time. Whatever the case, you will have to renew your I-20 Form on a yearly basis for your stay to remain legal. You should get in touch with an immigration attorney to help you file your application so that it goes through in a timely manner.

Get in touch with an Immigration lawyer today at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen to start your M-1 visa application.

You can reach us at:

San Antonio, TX

310 South St. Mary’s Street, Suite 2100

San Antonio, TX 78205

The 21st Floor of the Tower Life Building

Call Today: (210) 503-2800