If you wish to pursue full-time vocational studies in the United States, you may be eligible for a nonimmigrant student visa category called the M-1. The M-1 visa is intended for students who are enrolled in non-academic/vocational study programs. Such programs offer direct instruction in skilled trades, and include mechanical and technical studies, culinary schools, flight schools, cosmetology programs, and other nonacademic programs other than language training.

To qualify for an M-1 visa, the applicant must be enrolled full-time in a vocational or non-academic education program at an approved institution in the US. Full-time study is defined as a minimum of 18 hours of study per week. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of the program, and that they intend to return to their home country upon completion of their studies. The M-1 visa is valid for only one year. Students may apply for extensions for up to three years.

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