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What if an M-1 Student Needs More than One Year to Complete a Program Study?

November 4, 2015

If you are a current or prospective M-1 student, or a designated school official (DSO) who supports M-1 students, it is important to understand the rules for how long M-1 students may stay in the United States.

This week we are publishing a three part series specifically for maintaining M-1 status, which answers questions about an M-1 student’s duration of stay in the United States. In part one, we answered the question about how long can M-1 students initially stay in the United States.  Today we follow-up with this relevant question:

What if an M-1 student Needs More than One Year to Complete a Program Study?

If an M-1 student needs more than one year to finish their program or any relevant practical training, the student must talk with their DSO as soon as possible. Both the DSO and student must take action in order to request or apply for a program extension.

To apply for a program extension, the DSO must first request an M-1 program extension on the student’s record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Then, the M-1 student must apply for an extension with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If granted a program extension, the total time an M-1 student can stay in the United States, including extensions, is limited to three years, plus the 30 day departure grace period.

But, how does an M-1 student file for a program extension? Tomorrow, we will answer this question in the third and final part of our M-1 student’s duration of stay series.

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