What is the difference between the F-1 and M-1 Visa Programs?
The immigration law allows foreign nationals to study in the United States. These foreign nationals must attend a school in the United States that has been approved by the USCIS for such attendance. These schools must be approved by USCIS to enroll foreign nationals. The foreign national (student) from abroad who wishes to enter United States for the purpose of education must obtain a student visa which will be placed in the passport of the individual. The student visas are classified into two types.
F Student Visa (Academic Course)
M Student Visa (Non-academic or Vocational/Technical Course)
The F visa is classified into F1 and F2 visas. F1 visas are used by non-immigrant students for Academic and Language training Courses. The F2 visas are used by the dependents of F1 visa holders. Spouse and unmarried, minor children are said to be the dependents of the F1 visa holder.
The M visa is classified into M1 and M2 visas. M1 visa is used by a person who wishes to do non-academic or vocational course. The M2 visas are given to the dependents (spouse and unmarried, minor children) of the M1 visa holder.
The F2 and M2 dependents must meet all the eligibility requirements and must provide evidence that they will be able to support themselves financially and will leave United States once the student’s course concludes.
The F-1 visa gives you the option to transfer to a University after you have completed your community vocational program. On a M-1 visa you may only attend a vocational program for one year and then you must return to your home country. M-1 students are not allowed to continue on to the University level.