M-1 Student Visa Guidelines

Maintaining Legal M-1 Status

Entry Documents and Procedures

Always enter the U.S. with a valid M-1 Student Visa and I-20 form while you are a student. (Canadian citizens/nationals do not need to obtain a visa but need to enter with an I-20 for the duration of their program.)
Have a passport that is valid for 6 months into the future.
Attend the school you are authorized to attend (the school listed on the I-20 that you used to enter the U.S.).

Full-time Enrollment

  • Be enrolled full-time.
  • Have your I-20 signed by the International Student Advisor. If you plan to leave the U.S., be sure to visit your International Student Advisor first.
  • M1 Visa does not allow for a leave of absence.


Employment within the U.S. is not available. This includes both on campus and off campus.
Students should plan on doing their externship outside of the U.S. or within their home country.
M1 Visa does not allow for a leave of absence.

Address Changes

Report a change of residency or address within 10 days to the International Student Advisor.


  • If you voluntarily withdraw with the International Student Advisor’s approval, you have a 15-day grace period in which to depart the U.S.
  • If you are suspended from the New England Culinary Institute, you have no grace period and cannot remain in the U.S. with your New England Culinary Institute I-20.
  • If you fall out of status you are required to leave the U.S. immediately.

Completion of Program

  • Once you have completed the residency portion of your Certificate program with us, you will be required to depart the U.S. within 30 days after your program completion date.
  • There is not an option for Optional Practical Training (OPT) post-completion.

For more information on this subject, please contact:

New England Culinary Institute Admissions
7 School Street
Montpelier, VT 05602 USA
[email protected]
Telephone (Toll Free):  877.223.6324