The Spouse and/or Children of an M-1 Student

The spouse and/or unmarried, minor children of M-1 students are eligible to come to the United States through an M-2 Visa. M-2 holders are considered the dependents of M-1 students; therefore, M-2 students are entitled to remain in the United States for the duration of the M-1 student’s authorized duration of stay. Furthermore, each dependent must be issued an individual SEVIS Form I-20 and may remain in the United States as long as the principle M-1 student maintains valid status; if the M-1 student loses valid status, so too will their M-2 dependents.

Employment Opportunities for the M-2 holder

Similar to those of F-2 visa holders, M-2 holders are subject to certain provisions and restrictions under U.S. immigration law. The first restriction states that M-2 status holders are not permitted to apply for or engage in employment during their stay in the United States as an M-2 holder.

Education Opportunities for the M-2 holder

Another restriction placed upon M-2 status holders is that these dependents are generally not allowed to partake in any type of full-time study while in the U.S. Specifically, the M-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary school or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). Furthermore, the M-2 spouse and/or child may engage in study that is vocational or recreational.

In an instance where an M-2 spouse or M-2 child (other than elementary or secondary school) would like to engage in full-time study, the spouse or child must first obtain a change of status to F-1, J-1, or M-1 status. If an M-2 dependent engages in any type of full-time study that is not at an elementary or secondary school, or vocational or recreational in nature, the alien will be considered in violation of status.  


Electronic Code of Federal Regulations: 8 CFR § 214.2(m)(17)

For more information about M-1 visas, please click on one of the following links: