students in college

F-1 visas are issued to full time academic or language students. M-1 visas are issued to vocational or other nonacademic students. Both visas are obtained in exactly the same manner. The privileges of the two visas differ.

F-1 Privileges

  • You may come to the U.S. as a full-time academic or language student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate.
  • Visas can be issued quickly.
  • You can transfer from one school to another or switch academic programs by going through a simple procedure to notify INS of the change.
  • You may work legally in a part-time job on campus. Also, you may get special permission to work off-campus if it is economically necessary or if the job provides practical training for your field of study. 
  • You may travel in and out of the U.S. or remain there until the completion of your studies, up to a maximum of eight years.
  • Visas are available for accompanying relatives

M-1 Privileges

  • You may come to the U.S. as a full-time vocational or nonacademic student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate.
  • You can transfer from one school to another.
  • You may work legally in a part-time job on campus. You may also get permission to work off-campus in a job that is considered practical training for your field of study.
  • You may travel in and out of the U.S. or remain there until the completion of your studies, up to a maximum of one year. If you have not completed your program in a year or less, you must apply for an extension. 

Service Area:

Need help with any legal issues?