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M Visas


M Visas are issued to Vocational Students pursuant to INA §101(a)(15)(M), 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(15)(M); 8 C.F.R. 214.2(m), 67 FR 76256-80 (Dec. 11, 2002); 68 FR 28129 (May 23, 2003) [interim SEVIS rule]; 70 FR 7853 (Feb. 16, 2005) [final SEVIS rule].

M visas are Similar to F-1 except at a vocational/nonacademic institution.

M-2 Visas

M-2 visas are issued to M-1 Family Members. M-2 Must obtain separate SEVIS I-20s. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(3). M-2 holder May not work or engage in full-time study unless child is attending primary or secondary school. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(17). Can only obtain extension if M-1 obtains extension. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(10)(iii).

Differences From F-l Visas

Can only be authorized to reduce course load for medical reasons and only for a maximum aggregate period of 5 months.

No online courses or distance courses permissible unless person is required to be physically present for class.

Can only attend school with extensions for a maximum of 3 years.

Can transfer schools only in first 6 months unless reason for not being able to remain at present school was "due to circumstances beyond the student's control." Must get DHS permission prior to transfer on I-539. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(11).

Cannot change educational objectives. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(12).

Cannot accept employment, 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(13), except practical training, which may only be obtained after completion of study. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(14). Must have job in field of study; can only be given one period of practical training "equal to 1 month of each 4 months" student pursued full course of study, not exceeding 6 months, §214.2(m)(14)(iii). Must apply for EAD on Form I-765 before expiration of authorized stay and not more than 60 days before or 30 days after completion of course of study. 8 C.F.R. §214.2(m)(14)(ii).

Cannot change to H status if basis of H was training or education received as M-1 student. 8 C.F.R. §248.1(d). Nor can student's request to change nonimmigrant status be granted to M if student is doing it to ultimately qualify for H. 8 C.F.R. §248.1(c). M also cannot change to F. 8 C.F.R. §248.1(c). However, none of these regulations apply to M‑2s.

Contact Our Firm

To schedule an appointment with Los Angeles visa attorney Artem M. Sarian, contact Sarian Law Group, APLC. We have offices in Glendale and Los Angeles, California, to serve you.

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