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Reminders for M-1 Students Nearing Their Program End Dates

December 22, 2015

M-1 students have a specific departure date that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines upon their arrival to the United States. If you are an M-1 student, you can find this date written on the stamp in your passport or through the Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” website.

Your “admit until” date is usually 30 days after your program end date. Often referred to as the grace period, this 30-day period begins on the day following the program end date listed on your Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status."

If you need additional time to finish your program or practical training, you need to speak with your designated school official (DSO) as soon as possible and begin the process to file for a program extension with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).

As an M-1 student, there is a very specific length of time in which you are eligible to file for a program extension:

  • Up to 60 days before the program end date listed on the Form I-20.
  • But, no later than 15 days before the program end date listed on the Form I-20. 

To begin the process, your DSO will need to request an extension in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Then you must submit a Form I-539, “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status,” to USCIS.

If you do not file within the above time period, you will need to depart the country within your 30-day grace period and by the “admit until” date provided to you by CBP. For an M-1 student, it is too late to file for a program extension during your 30-day grace period.

If you are an M-1 student and have issue-specific questions about how to maintain your status, contact the SEVP Response Center by emailing

Help us share these important reminders for M-1 students nearing their program end dates by sharing this article with them on social media using the hashtag, #StudyintheStates. 

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