M1 Visa Requirements – How to Apply for a M1 Visa?


By Imagility

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Table of Contents 

What is an M1 Visa?
How Does an M1 Visa Work?
How to Apply for an M1 Visa?
What are the Requirements for an M1 Visa?
How Much Does an M1 Visa Cost?
What is the Processing Time for M1 Visa?

The pursuit of education knows no geographical boundaries. For those seeking vocational or non-academic training in the United States, the M1 visa offers a pathway to gain specialized skills and knowledge to achieve their academic and vocational goals.

This blog delves into the details of the M1 visa – its purpose, application process, requirements, associated costs, and the timeline involved. If you’re an aspiring student, understanding the M1 visa is essential for a smooth educational and professional growth journey.

What is an M1 Visa?

The M1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category designed for international students seeking to enroll in vocational and non-academic programs in the United States. Unlike its counterpart, the F1 visa, which is intended for academic studies, the M1 visa caters to individuals interested in pursuing vocational training, such as technical skills, culinary arts, or other hands-on programs.

How Does an M1 Visa Work?

The M1 visa serves as a bridge for international students to receive training directly related to their chosen vocational field. This training can range from culinary arts and health services programs to technology and cosmetology. It’s important to note that M1 visa holders are prohibited from working during their training period. However, they can only engage in practical training related to their program after completing their studies.

How to Apply for an M1 Visa?

The application process for an M1 visa involves several steps:

  • Receive Acceptance

Obtain acceptance into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school in the U.S. The school will provide you with Form I-20, a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.

  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

The SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) I-901 fee must be paid and the receipt obtained. This fee supports the maintenance of the SEVIS program.

  • Complete the DS-160 Form

Fill out the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form and receive the confirmation page with a barcode. This form provides crucial information to the U.S. consulate or embassy.

  • Pay Visa Application Fee

Pay the visa application fee, a mandatory cost associated with the visa application process.

  • Schedule a Visa Interview

Schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. Be prepared to provide the necessary documentation and take an interview.  Present the required documents, including your passport, DS-160 confirmation page, visa application fee payment receipt, SEVIS fee payment receipt, acceptance letter from the vocational school, and proof of financial resources.

  • Attend Visa Interview

Attend the visa interview on the scheduled date. The interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your genuine intention to study and return to your home country after completing the program.

What are the Requirements for an M1 Visa?

Below are the requirements for an M-1 Visa:

  • Acceptance into a SEVP-approved vocational school.
  • Enrollment in a full-time vocational program.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses.
  • Demonstrated intent to return to home country.
  • English proficiency (recommended).

Since USCIS keeps updating the rules and regulations, refer to the official U.S. Department of State or U.S. Embassy/Consulate websites for the most current and accurate information.

How Much Does an M1 Visa Cost?

The cost to apply for an M1 Visa is $185. For the M-1 Visa, there’s also a SEVIS I-901 fee of $330 within the Student and Exchange Visitor Program System. Moreover, additional expenses, such as a visa issuance fee or a reciprocity fee, can differ depending on the country.

What is the Processing Time for M1 Visa?

The processing time for obtaining an M-1 visa can vary depending on several factors, including staff availability, the specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate you’re applying through, and the complexity of your individual case. However, It may take weeks to months to process the M1 visa.


The M1 visa offers a valuable opportunity for international students to engage in vocational training and skill development in the United States. Aspiring students can navigate the journey toward achieving their career aspirations by understanding the application process, meeting requirements, and the associated costs. With a clear roadmap, the pursuit of skills and knowledge becomes a seamless process, fostering personal and professional growth on a global level.

You also have the option to utilize the benefits of our Imagility platform. This guides you through the M1 visa application process with expert advice, enhancing your likelihood of obtaining M1 visa approval.

For more information, please visit imagility.co

Or call us at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588.

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