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M-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


What are the limitations of M-1 student visa?

On M-1 student visa, you may:

  • Transfer from one school to another only with the permission of the USCIS
  • Never be permitted to change your course of study
  • Work legally off-campus only with the permission of the USCIS
  • Take dependants to stay with you in the U.S. but they may not work

Note: Once you are six months into the program of studies, you are prohibited from changing your course of study except under truly exceptional circumstances.


Can I work on M-1 visa?

No, you may not work on M-1 visa. However, you may apply for practical training after you complete your studies. If approved, you will be allowed to have one month of practical training for every four months of study you have completed. You will be limited to six months total practical training time.

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How to apply for Employment Authorization on M-1 visa?

While applying for Employment Authorization the documents required are:

  • Form I-538 , Certification by Designated School Official, to the USCIS certifying that the:
  • Proposed employment is for the purpose of practical training
  • Training will be related to your studies
  • Same type of training is not available in your country of residence
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-20I-D signed by the Designated School Official (DSO)

Note: You should send your application to the USCIS no more than 60 days before your student status expires and no later than 15 days after your studies are completed.

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