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M1 Student Visa : A Step-By-Step Guide

F1, F2, B1, B2 and J1 visas are common and many people know about these two visa types. However, hardly a few people know about the M1 visa.  So, we have taken the responsibility to let you know about the M1 visa type. This blog is entirely based on the whole information regarding the M1 visa type such as the requirements to get an M1 visa, the application process, processing time, its validity and so on. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is M1 Visa?

  2. Requirements for the M1 Visa 

  3. Documents required for the M1 Visa 

  4. Application process for the M1 Visa 

  5. Processing Time for an M1 Visa 

  6. Validity of an M1 Visa 

  7. FAQs

  8. Wrapping Up

What is M1 Visa?

This visa type is a study permit that allows students to enroll in vocational courses such as professional schools, flight institutions, cooking courses, language programs, non-academic classes and so on. You are not allowed to register for academic courses sing this permit. For academic courses, you need to apply for an F1 visa. So basically, an M1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows international students to enroll in non-academic and vocational courses in the USA. Students holding this visa can study only on a part-time basis for a time period of six months. If students want to change the school, they can do it in the first six months of their program.                                                        

"Hii Manbir Singh Here founder & CEO of IBT Overseas, Holds 10+ years of immigration experience. We are an emerging team of student visa consultants sucessfully stamped 1000+ Visa. Moreover, IBT Overseas recently bagged the “Best in the market” award in the immigration  field by the leading national media."


Requirements for the M1 Visa 

Do you know the basic requirements for an M1 visa? If not, then we have listed the major requirements below that you must fulfill to get an M1 visa: 

  • The candidate needs to be accepted at a SEVP institution. 

  • Before starting the study program, the candidate needs to pay the full cost in advance. 

  • The candidate must have proficient in the English language. So, candidates have to appear for TOEFL or IELTS. 

  • The student needs to show his/her intent to come back to his/her home country after the completion of the course. 

  • The candidate must have enough financial support because he/she needs to show proper bank statements.  

Documents Required for the M1 Visa 

Before proceeding further with the documents, let’s understand the I-120A-B form because receiving this form is the first step to getting the M1 visa. This form will be issued by the academic institution you want to enroll in. However, an institute needs to be approved by the USCIS, otherwise, it will not help you get a visa. Well, below-mentioned are some documents you need to submit along with your M1 visa application: 

  • A valid passport. Make sure the passport is not expired. 

  • Evidence of the educational qualifications you are pursuing currently such as degrees or diplomas. 

  • Proof of scores in the standardized English language proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL. 

  • Bank statements to prove your financial stability. 

Application Process for the M1 Visa 

If you want to apply for the M1 visa, make sure to follow the steps given below carefully and sequentially: 

  • I-120 form: Receive an I-120 form from the USCIS-approved institution of your choice. 

  • Ds-160 form: After receiving the school’s confirmation, you can file your DS-160 form. In this form, you need to give information regarding your background and your purpose in the USA. 

  • Pay M1 application fee: Pay the M1 application fee of $160 which is a non-refundable fee. 

  • Pay SEVIS Fee: Get registered in the SEVIS by paying an additional fee of $350. 

  • Fix an appointment: Schedule an appointment for the interview as early as possible to reach the USA before the commencement of classes. 

  • Appear for the interview: No, you need to appear in the interview on time and make sure to answer every question confidently. 

Processing Time for an M1 Visa 

There is a high probability that students will receive an immediate visa response after the interview. So, the M1 visa processing will take around four weeks. Therefore, students need to apply for a visa by considering the date of the commencement of classes. 

Validity of an M1 Visa 

An M1 visa will allow you to stay in the USA for the total duration of your study program. Your I-120 form will be valid for one year only. So, if you want to stay for more than 1 year in the USA, you need to get a new I-120 form for the next year. Well, you can only extend your I-120 form for a maximum of 3 years and not more than that. 


Ques 1) How much time will it take to process an M1 visa? 

Ans) It will take around four weeks to process an M1 visa. 

Ques 2) How long is the I-120 form valid? 

Ans) The I-120 form is valid for 1 year only. 

Ques 3) Are scores in the language proficiency test required for an M1 visa? 

Ans) Yes, your scores in the English language proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL are required for an M1 visa. 

Ques 4) What is the SEVIS fee for an M1 visa? 

Ans) The SEVIS fee for an M1 visa is $350. 

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, this was a complete guide for an M1 visa. We hope you don’t have any confusion in your mind regarding this visa type. However, if you still want to ask some queries, you can connect with reputable visa consultants and get answers to your queries. 

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