When requesting a US visa, we usually ask ourselves what category to choose, considering there are several types. Some of them are the tourist visa, the work visa, the study visa, etc. We decide on one of these options without realizing that the complexity of each one of these categories is more significant than we had imagined. Each of these types of visas has several subcategories with equal importance. Making mistakes when choosing them can lead to serious legal complications that may end the visa process badly.
F1 and M1 visa characteristics
This time, we will make a general analysis. It will be about the difference between two types of student visas from which you must choose very carefully. We will contemplate the characteristics and benefits of each. The F1 and the M1 student visas have a specific difference. This is regarding the nature of the studies that you are going to carry out abroad.
The F1 student visa exists for all those who wish to enroll in a purely academic program abroad. Planning to access higher education in a university, a college or a community college, for some undergraduate or graduate program? Then the F1 visa is precisely the one you need to process. The M1 visa, on the other hand, was designed for all those who wish to enroll in programs that are not purely academic but relate to a vocational study. Some popular alternatives are study programs in cooking, mechanics, technical studies, languages, plastic arts, or any other program that is optional within academic institutions. The M1 visa is the correct choice when the student decides to attend an institution that is not purely academic.
Each one of these student visa categories also has another set of differences regarding the maximum length of stay in the United States. Some visas allow 30 days in which the student can travel to the United States before the beginning of their academic program. Nonetheless, the deadline to leave the country is different for each of the student visa categories.
In case the student has the F1 visa, he or she may remain in the country for sixty days once their academic program has finished. It´s different for those who have an M1 visa. Their maximum length of stay in the country will be until completing the application or until the end of the academic year. This element is essential when choosing a visa. You have to be aware of the times and terms that each one offers. Know that any delay could have severe legal consequences.
It´s important to point out that the F1 visa doesn´t always apply the deadlines above. Children who wish to enroll in any grade up to 8th will be denied this type of visa. While those who would join from 9th through 12th grade will be limited to a maximum term of twelve months.
Another important element when applying for this visa is the ability to demonstrate sufficient income or resources. There are subtle differences between the two types of visa regarding this financial matter. For the M1 visa, it´s necessary to show that you have sufficient resources to cover all the expenses required. You need to be able to cover the entire period of the study program, for the established time. For the F1 visa, it ´s necessary to demonstrate only one year of sufficient financial capability. It´s also essential to confirm that the source of income will be available once the year ends. This is so that you don´t have to interrupt the continuity of the studies.