M-1 visas allow the holder to attend a recognized non-academic or vocational educational institution in the United States. The M visa is required, for example, to attend a flight school in the USA. If you are interested in continuing your education or training in the United States, we will be happy to assist you with your M-1 visa application!
The COVID-19 pandemic directly affects the M-1 and F-1 programs in the USA. The SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program), which manages all educational institutions, students and their families on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been closely monitoring in recent weeks and months how to ensure that all holders of an F-1 or M-1 visa can continue to study in the United States in accordance with the law. Changes were originally planned for the upcoming fall semester of 2020, but have now been overturned.
The U.S. authorities have issued an updated guide for the fall semester 2020. On July 6, 2020, a Temporary Final Rule was published by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) together with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which regulates the issues for F-1 and M-1 visa holders for the fall semester 2020.
Due to the Corona crisis, F-1 and M-1 visa holders were exceptionally able to take their classes at U.S. educational institutions in the summer semester 2020 in the form of online courses. This should actually change in the fall semester. However, resistance from renowned U.S. universities, Silicon Valley and several U.S. states has had an effect, so that the status quo of March 2020 will probably be maintained.
The planned measures were aimed at F-1 and M-1 visa students who will be attending educational institutions that offer only online courses from the fall semester 2020 onwards. These F-1 and M-1 students
F-1 or M-1 visa holders should always be in close communication with their US educational institution to ensure that they maintain their active SEVIS status or residency status and that their education or training in the US is secured. In this context, also clarify whether you need a new I-20 form.
In addition, pupils and students should document all possible changes to the programme (e.g. e-learning, changes to the course of lectures, etc.) so that they can be presented to the SEVP on request. The SEVP, for its part, continues to try to be as flexible as possible in order to be able to make special adaptations and recommends to follow official updates on the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) COVID-19 information page.
Currently, it is also extremely important that the respective M Nonimmigrant residence status remains valid, even in emergency situations. This means that all visa holders must take all necessary steps that are possible under the given circumstances to maintain their status. In addition, visa holders must contact their DSO (Designated School Official) to discuss, for example, contingency plans for the school grounds or changes. The Department of Homeland Security provides important information on maintaining status.
M-1 visas entitle the holder to stay in the USA as part of a non-academic study program, for example, when not studying at a college or university. If you are interested in continuing education or evening classes, you will need an M-1 visa.
Note: M-1 visas do not entitle the holder to participate in language courses. An F-1 visa could possibly be considered for this purpose.
The application for an M-1 visa is subject to several conditions.
If you are unsure whether you can apply for the M-1 visa, get an assessment from our visa experts. Contact us now!
If you have any further questions regarding the M-1 visa application, please contact us - we will be happy to advise you individually!
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The M-1 visa is usually issued for one year. The local residence status in the USA depends on the duration of the further education or training as noted in the I-20 form. If the training is longer than the duration of the course, an extension of up to 12 months can be applied for at the respective educational institution. It is also possible to enter the United States on the M-1 visa 30 days before the start of the training and to remain in the United States for a maximum of 30 days after completion of the training.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may be issued a derived M-2 visa for the same period as the principal applicant. If the children reach the U.S. age of majority, they must change their non-immigrant status or leave the country. Family members are not permitted to work. Applying for a general work permit (Employment Authorization Document, EAD) is therefore not possible under the M-2 status. However, M-2 visa holders may attend a public/private educational institution (kindergarten to high school).
If a higher educational institution (e.g. university) is to be attended, a separate F-1 visa must be applied for.
No. M-1 visas only entitle the holder to attend a non-academic educational institution. Study programs such as in-service training or evening classes are considered non-academic programs.
Yes an extension or new application for the M-1 visa is possible. If the training takes longer than expected, an extension of up to 12 months can be applied for at the respective educational institution.
The I-20 form is issued by the respective educational institution provided that the U.S. educational institution is SEVIS registered. You can find out whether this is the case by using the school search tool of the U.S. authorities.
Please note: The I-20 is not an application form that you can download from the Internet.