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M Visa (Students Vocational & Language)

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Similar to F-1 visa in many aspects. It requires an alien having residence in the foreign country not to have intent to abandon his or her residence in the foreign country, and coming to the United States solely for the purpose of pursuing fulltime course of studies at an established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institutions (other than in a language training program) in the United States that have been approved by the USCIS. Usually participating schools in this program are community colleges and junior colleges that provide vocational training, post secondary schools or business schools that provide other than an English language training program that confers upon its graduates associate or other degrees.
For the purposes of M visa, “fulltime course of study” means that incase if alien pursue his or her vocational studies at:
  1. Community college or junior college: must be certified by a school official to consist of at least twelve semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term with few exceptions that requires fewer hours study to complete the program.
  2. Postsecondary vocational or business school that provides other than a language training program: Must confer upon its graduates recognized associate or other degrees or has established that its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three institutions of higher learning which are either a school owned and operated as a public educational institution by the United States or a State or political subdivision thereof; or a school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body; and which has been certified by a designated school official to consist of at least twelve hours of instruction a week, or its equivalent as determined by the district director.
  3. Any vocational or nonacademic program: must be certified by designated school official that non academic or vocational program consist of at least eighteen hours a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction, or at least twenty-two clock hours a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of shop or laboratory work.
  4. Any vocational or nonacademic high school curriculum: certified by a designated school official to consist of class attendance for not less than the minimum number of hours a week prescribed by the school for normal progress towards graduation.
Any online courses or distance education classes may not be considered or counted towards fulltime course of study for the purposes of M-1 student status if such classes do not require physical presence of alien for the classes, examinations, or other purposes that are part of the curriculum for the completion of the class.
M1 students are not allowed to accept on or of campus employment. However, they are permitted to do Practical training after the completion of course. Also, M1 students will not be able to transfer schools after six months unless there are circumstances beyond their control. Usually extensions are given up to one year or till the completion of the program. If the student’s request for extension is denied, he or she must leave the United States within 10 to 30 days after the denial, otherwise, he or she may be subject to removal proceedings.
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