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Graphic image of F ampersand M with dark and light blue background. Subtitle reads Student Status colon, know the difference.

New Infographic Helps Explain the Difference between F and M Students

October 1, 2015

Do you know how F-1 students and M-1 students are different? This new infographic, F&M Student Status: Know the Difference, illustrates the distinctions between the two categories and outlines the different rules F-1 and M-1 students must follow while they study in the United States.

F-1 and M-1 refers to the nonimmigrant classification a student receives on their Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” It also determines the type of visa the U.S. Department of State will issue a prospective student and the rules they must follow once in the United States.

F-1 and M-1 students share the same primary purpose for coming to the United States, which is to successfully complete a program of study certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). However, F-1 students enroll in more traditional academic programs, while M-1 students enroll in vocational programs.

Because these two types of programs are different in nature, the types of benefits an international student may be eligible for and how long they may remain in the country depend on whether they are an F-1 or M-1 student. Additionally, F-1 and M-1 students must take different actions to properly maintain their status throughout the duration of their stay. For instance, an F-1 student is eligible for annual vacation, while an M-1 student is not.

Learn more about these specific differences by reviewing the F&M Student Status: Know the Difference infographic. Students and schools can download, share, or print out the infographic and reference it as needed to navigate the international student process easily. 

And, if you are a school official looking for more tools that help illustrate your school’s role and responsibilities in the international student process, be sure to check out the SEVP School Certification Lifecycle. It’s an interactive, step-by-step guide to the SEVP-certification process that’s available under the “Tools” section of Study in the States.

Help us explain the important differences between F-1 and M-1 students by sharing this post with your network on social media using #StudyintheStates. 

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