F-1 & M-1: Students Visa


The F-1 Visa is granted to allow international students to enter the United States to study as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program that requires research papers samples. During the first academic year, F-1 students may not work off-campus but may accept on-campus jobs with certain restrictions and conditions. The M-1 Visa is for students who study in vocational or nonacademic programs; language training program does not fall into this category. M-1 students only allows to engage in practical training after they completed the field of study.


In order to qualify for the F-1 or M-1 Visa, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enroll in an “academic” educational program, vocational program or language training program
  2. Enrolled as a full-time student
  3. School is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program and Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  4. Proficient in English or enroll in programs/courses leading to English proficiency
  5. Financially self-sufficient during the entire proposed course of study
  6. Maintain a residence abroad with no intension to give up


As part of the visa application process, an interview is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview.

Applicants should submit:

  • Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students; Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Students Status-For Vocational Students.
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One (1) 2 x 2 photograph within 6 months.
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.

Since each student’s situation is different, additional paperwork maybe requested by the USCIS.

For more information about F-1 visa and M-1 visa, you may check U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ web page: