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Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28069
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am the ex. dir. for an online training course to certify

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I am the ex. dir. for an online training course to certify Montessori teachers. 9 months is online, 1 Month in person here in Montana, and 9-months internships in the state or countries where students have their residence. My question is this:
What do I need to know/do in order to be in compliance with Immigration Law and Home Land Security. What kind of Visas would students be required to have for the 1-month intensive here before they return home?

Here are two actual examples:

1- I have a potential student interested in our course in China who wants to come and live with her sister in the US while she takes the course online and then comes for the 1 month intensive here in Montana. Not sure if she would go back to China to do her internship there or want to stay in US for the 9 months.

2- I have another person from Iran who wants to do the same thing as above.

Hello,my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.

There are both M-1 and F-1 student visas. Those are the only options.

But as a training course you won't qualify. You are not a school.

That is a requirement.

You cannot have the students do online course work under their M1 status.

Therefore, you will not be able to be certified by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement who oversee this program.

There is no visa to accomodate the online training being done in the US.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Judith,


We are accredited by MACTE Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education under the Dept. of Ed. We have an office where we administrate from but we aren't a brick and mortar school.


BotXXXXX XXXXXne, can students come for one month on a visitors visa and take our face to face training and not violate any laws? And, what would they need to do if they wanted to apply to stay for 9 months in the US to perform an internship?



You would have to be a brick and mortar school for them to come in as students.

Possibly the visa for the students to come in under for the one month intensive would be a B1 visitor visa. It will depend on what the intensive is

See page 6 this note

9 FAM 41.31 N8

See page 289

FAM 41.31 N14.8 Aliens Destined to Avocational

There is also a trainee visa - H3. you may want to read about that.


They may come in as an intern under the J1 exchange program. See this link.


They have to come in through a Dept of State certified sponsor. That is something you may want to look into


I have given you a lot of general information. You should read up on these visa options and then take a synopsis of your program to an experienced immigration attorney who can look at it and have an in depth discussion with you and there is likely a category that it will fit into. You may have to tweak it a bit but lawyers are creative.

You can find a local immigration lawyer at



Judith and 2 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We rent a brick and mortar for one month. The rest of the training is online or else in schools where students intern for one year.


Would I still need to apply for 1-20 to status to receive students for one month? If so, wouldn't they have to have F-1 or T-1 student visas?



Regarding H-3 application.

1. Could we apply for this even if we aren't an employer but the training institution providing 1 month face to face training that isn't available for those students who would attend. I ask because of the following language on the app that states this form is to be used by an employer who wants to petition....

2. Would the H-3 work as the short term solution for only those students from countries on the visa waiver list or could we also apply for those who require visas from other non visa waivered countries while we wait to obtain the !-20 status from the Dept. of State that allows us to work with M-1 and F- 1 student visas for the one month intensive here in Montana?

Taking a one month lease for a brick and motar school will not satisfy the requirements for certification as a SEVP school.


I misunderstood your "intensive" program. I thought it would be an internship where the student worked in a school.

No the you could not sponsor the students for an H3.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, but I'm still not clear.


What do I need to do to be in compliance with the Department of State to recieve internationals for one month training in the US?

You have to have a school that is brick and mortar with students year round.
You have to have students attending classes.
It cannot be an online school.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


This is not an acceptable answer. Are you telling me that students will not be able to get a visa to come to Montana for one month to attend a special training? Is that what you are telling me? Is there no solution to this. Please help.



I am truly sorry but I thought you wanted an honest answer and to the best of my ability I have given that to you.
I don't make the laws.
If the students cannot qualify under the B1/2 visitor visa as per above
Possibly the visa for the students to come in under for the one month intensive would be a B1 visitor visa. It will depend on what the intensive is
See page 6 this note
9 FAM 41.31 N8
See page 289
FAM 41.31 N14.8 Aliens Destined to Avocational
Then I have no other options to give you.
I don't make the laws. But you can contact your Senators in MT who vote on the immigration laws and express your dissatisfaction with the laws they pass.

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