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  • M1 Student Visa

    The M1 visa is granted to individuals who wish to travel abroad for vocational or non-academic studies. Holders of the M1 visa for vocational and technical programs are not allowed to work whilst they are undertaking the course of education. Individuals who wish to apply for the M1 visa should possess proof that they have access to sufficient funds on an immediate basis so that tuition fees for the course as well as the cost of living can be met for the whole period for which the individual intends to reside abroad.

    Requirements for a M1 Student Visa

    Individuals who wish to avail an M1 student visa cannot do so if they intend to study “generally”. The program chosen by the individual should have a goal. Moreover, to qualify for an M1 visa, the applicant should undertake a “full course of study”, which means that he/she will have to enroll in a junior or community college that has a minimum of 12 quarter or semester hours. The institution in which the applicant enrolls should charge full tuition for at least 12 quarter or semester hours, or must be considered full-time. Exceptions are only allowed in case the applicant needs to undertake a course with a shorter load and duration to complete his/her course of study. Even a course of study undertaken at post-secondary business or vocational schools that grant associate or other degrees is allowed under the M1 visa. At the same time, in case a school can prove that its credits are or were accepted unconditionally by a minimum of three institutions of higher education, it can qualify for the M1 visa. In case the school cannot demonstrate the same, the course of study can be undertaken in a non-academic or vocational curriculum, authorized by a DSO to need a minimum attendance of 18 hours per week, or a minimum of 22 clock hours per week (in case a major part of the curriculum is covered in a lab or shop). In case the applicant cannot adhere to this either, the only remaining option will be to undertake a course of study in a non-academic or vocational high school curriculum that is authorized by a DSO.

    M1 Student Visa Application

    The admission policies adopted by each university is different from the other. The university usually informs the applicant about everything they require so as to determine your academic eligibility. A number of requirements will be laid down by the school/university, and in addition, candidates will also have to prove to the institution that he/she has sufficient funds to support themselves while they are studying overseas without having the need to work. Applicants will also have to furnish health insurance so as to show the institution that they will be medically covered in case any medical assistance is required when they are abroad. The university/school will send a list to the applicant, and all the documents required therein must be submitted to the school for verification, after which you will know whether or not your application has been accepted.

    After the school/university has ascertained your eligibility following the verification of the documents you have sent, an I-20 form will be issued so that you can proceed with applying for the student visa. Individuals who apply for student visa usually have to apply at the US Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the individual’s permanent residence address, which is usually in the applicant’s home country or the country in which he/she resides. While applications can be made at any US Consulate or Embassy abroad, qualifying for an M1 visa is usually much easier when applying from the country of permanent residence.

    Things To Do When Applying For A Student Visa At A US Consulate Or Embassy

    • A non-refundable application fee will have to be paid, and in case your application for a visa is rejected, you will not receive any of your money back.
    • An online application form for non-immigrant visas, called the DS-160, will have to be filled in and submitted.
    • All males between the ages of 16 and 45 years will have to fill in and submit a DS-157 form.
    • Get a passport valid for travel to the US, and it must have a validity date that is a minimum of six months over and above the intended period of stay in the US. In case there is over one individual included in the passport, every individual who wishes to avail a visa should take out a separate application.
    • Digital photographs must be uploaded in color, and the size must be such that the head is 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches, or 50% and 69% of the picture’s total height, extending from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The picture must have been taken within the previous six months to reflect the current appearance of the individual, and it must be taken in front of either an off-white or plain white background. It must also be taken in a manner such that the individual’s full face is facing the camera directly and the individual must have both eyes open in addition to a neutral facial expression. The picture must also be taken in clothing that the individual wears on a regular basis.

    Important Points to Remember

    When making an application for a student visa, the candidate will have to demonstrate to the consular officer that they have good ties with a residence in an overseas nation which they have no intention of leaving from, and that the individual will leave the US only once the course of study has been completed. To prove that you have ties to your home country, you can furnish such documents as an ownership of property, proof of a mortgage payment, evidence of immediate family that is currently based in the home country (brothers, sisters, parents), letter from a potential employer stating that the individual has a job offer at the time of returning to his/her home country, assets (a car or other property) that can reveal the individual’s intention of returning to the home country.  

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