The M1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the US Department of State to international students who wish to enroll in non-academic and vocational courses. This M1 Visa is only issued after you get enrolled in a community or junior college, post-secondary vocational school, and so on.
What Is the Difference Between F1 Visa And M1 Visa?
In short, an F1 Visa is for academic courses. And the M1 Visa is for vocational courses. Some of the popular vocational courses in the USA include travel, tourism, flying classes, construction, auto repair, and more.
- F1 Visa: This visa is issued to international students who want to pursue higher studies in the USA. Some of the F1 visa benefits include entering the USA to obtain an education from world-class universities, you can travel in and out of the USA during the course of your education, and you can work part-time to meet your finances depending on the legalities involved in the F1 visa.
- M1 Visa: Unlike the F1 visa that is offered to full-time students, this is issued ONLY to students who take up vocational courses. And these studies do not last long, as they vary from state to state. If you are seriously considering undergoing a vocational course, the best part is the time taken to complete. Vocational courses – unlike mainstream academics – can be completed in 1-2 years with a certification.
Vocational Training With M-1 Visa
Vocational Training for international students in the USA, apart from classroom learning, provides hands-on training to combine academics with real-time aspects of how the systems work.
Based on a study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2022, the demand for skilled professionals has increased and the country is on the lookout for more people who could fit the bill. Below are some of the top occupations and their annual pay with regards to vocational courses:
|Information Security Analysts||$102,600|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||$56,260|
|Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers||$24,440|
|Motion Picture Projectionists||$29,350|
Vocational education in the USA equips you with employability, skill development, professional networks, and global exposure to modern technologies. And to get all of this – the first step is to enroll and clear your interview for getting admission in top M-1 Visa schools.
What Are M1 Visa Requirements?
- You need to get admission for a vocational course or a non-academic program in a community or junior college in the USA. That too, with at least 12 semester or quarter hours for a full course of study. Do your research on how you want to shape your career, consider your budgets, and apply to the college accordingly.
- English is the widely spoken language in the United States. You are expected to hold a high proficiency in English – written, verbal, and communication. But what if you feel your English is not up to the mark, yet want to continue further, then you can get enrolled in an English Class additionally. And the documents which need to be submitted alongside.
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- Studying in the USA is not an easy affair when it comes to managing your costs and living expenses. Have you saved money to cover up the finances? Are you taking any loans to streamline your stay and education? It is a must that you should be financially well-off to sustain throughout the duration of your vocational course. Some of the documents which you can show to support your claims can be bank documents, scholarships, grants, etc.
- You must produce residential details of your residence outside the United States. For instance, the Aadhar Card (for Indians) along with other documents related to housing might be shown as proof.
- Make sure to check if the vocational course you are choosing is accepted by SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitors Program). Only if the course is approved by SEVP, the authorities will be able to provide you with Form I-20.
How To Apply For M1 Visa?
- Finalize the vocational course you want to study. Contact the concerned educational authorities. See if you are academically and financially eligible to undertake the course. After you’ve applied for the course and been selected, get the Form I-20 from the college that has all the details about you, the course, expenses, and more.
- Complete and submit Form DS-160. Well, the DS-160 Form is an online nonimmigrant visa application form issued to people, for “temporary” travel to the USA. Make sure to attach your latest picture and fill in all the details before submission. It will take around 90 mins to complete, after which you can schedule an interview.
- Now that you have scheduled the interview and are just a few steps away from realizing your American Dream, ensure you have all the necessary documents in hand. The consular officer – who’d be interviewing you – will be ascertaining how passionate you are. And will ask questions to understand whether you qualify for an M-1 Visa. Note: You may need to pay a nominal fee for the visa (if approved).
Documents Needed For M1 Visa Interview
- Scanned copy of visa application fee
- Passport with 6-month validity after visa expiry
- Your approved Form DS-160
- Photograph for US Visa
- Financial proof documents
- Photocopy of Form I-20 along with original
- English Test Scores (approved by USA college)
- Educational certificates (college, diploma, etc)
- Proof of intent to leave USA after studies
You will get an M1 Visa – if you are eligible – after the interview. However, the time it’ll take for you to receive the M1 Visa differs from country to country. Make sure to follow up with the embassy or seek clear details from them on the next steps to obtain your M1 Visa.
Coming to the costs, a fee of $300 for SEVIS I-901 and $160 as an application fee need to be paid. Do note that these have nothing to do with tuition or staying expenses. Those are separate and related to the college you have chosen.
Also, you need to show your passport, M1 Visa, and Form I-20 after you enter the United States. And if asked for, the enrollment details of your vocational course.
University HUB is always welcoming if you need more details about the M1 Visa and how to crack the interview. Even if you need details on colleges offering vocational courses, our experts are happy to help. Contact us.
From finding the right course to test preparation and seeking reliable scholarships, choose and secure your future with us.