M-1 Visa Extensions

The M visa is a type of student visa which allows an individual to come to the United States for the purposes of pursuing vocational or nonacademic forms of study. M-1 visaapplicants may stay in the U.S. for a period of one year and they are able to request extensions after the one-year mark, so long as they are still enrolled as a full-time student in their vocational program.

Requesting an Extension

An M-1 visa holder who is seeking an extension of their stay should apply for the extension within forty-five days before the completion of their studies. Prior to sending paperwork to the USCIS, they should request an extension with their designated school official (DSO). The DSO will enter the request into the SEVIS program, which will update their form I-20 so that it evidences that an extension request was made. The extension request is made by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with the USCIS, along with all supporting documentation.

Practical Training After Completing Studies

M-1 visa holders are eligible to apply for unpaid practical training which is related to their vocational studies. If their request for practical training is approved, they will be provided with one month of practical training time for every four months of the program which they were enrolled in. If an M-1 visa holder is interested in practical training after the completion of their studies, they should apply for an employment authorization card.

Changing Status While on an M-1 Visa

M-1 visa holders are eligible to change their status to most non-immigrant visas. M-1 visa holders may not change their status to an F-Visa, or an H-1B visa in most cases.

Consider booking a consultation with an immigration lawyer at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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