US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

View Disclaimer

 

M-1 Practical Training

Last updated 10-May-2018

General Information

Practical training is the only type of work permission available to M-1 students. It allows students to get on-the-job training that is not available in their home country. Eligible students may have up to six months of practical training after they complete their program.

While a principal/designated school official (P/DSO) recommends practical training in SEVIS, it is the student who must apply for the work permit with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), using the Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). If the practical training is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The student must have the EAD before starting work.

Regulations

Complex rules and guidance apply to practical training. Any practical training requests entered into SEVIS must comply with federal regulations. P/DSOs must understand the following regulations:

negative consequence

Practical Training Request Statuses

The table below lists the statuses used to identify the stages of practical training requests in SEVIS:

Status Status Meaning in SEVIS
Requested DSO requested practical training in SEVIS on behalf of the student, but USCIS has not yet received the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
Pending USCIS has received the Form I-765.
Approved USCIS has approved the Form I-765.
Denied USCIS has denied the Form I-765.
Canceled DSO has canceled the practical training request in SEVIS.
Withdrawn USCIS approved the student’s request to withdraw the Form I-765.

Practical Training Process at a Glance

The practical training application process involves many players and several steps:

Step User Actions
1. Student follows school processes to submit a practical training request to the DSO.
2.
  • DSO confirms eligibility, enters the request in SEVIS, and prints the Form I-20 with the practical training recommendation.
  • DSO signs page one of the Form I-20.
  • SEVIS immediately changes the status of the practical training request to Requested.

Note: Any practical training status updates to SEVIS are automatic and require no action on the part of the DSO.

3. Required paperwork:
  • Student signs page one of the Form I-20.
  • Student completes an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). The Form I-765 and supporting documents must be received by USCIS.

     The Form I-765 is available on the USCIS website http://www.uscis.gov/I-765. The instructions for the Form I-765 details:  

  • Who may file Form I-765?
  • Where to file the form?
  • What is the filing fee?
  • What supporting documents are needed?

    The USCIS definition of filed is defined in regulation
8 CFR 103.2(a) (1).

4.
  • Upon receipt of the Form I-765, USCIS issues a Receipt Notice (Form I-797) that contains the receipt number assigned to the case. It is mailed to the address entered on the Form I-765. 

    The status of a case can be tracked on the USCIS website.
     

  • Through an interface with USCIS, the status of the practical training request in SEVIS changes to Pending.
  • If USCIS needs more information, the student will receive a Request For Evidence, which states what information is needed and the deadline for submitting it. The student must respond by the deadline. 
  • USCIS then makes a decision on the application: 
    • If the application is approved, USCIS issues an EAD and the practical training Request status in SEVIS changes to Approved.
    • If the Form I-765 is denied, the practical training Request status in SEVIS changes to Denied.
5. The student receives the EAD and can begin work.
Note: While on practical training, the student must report to the DSO within 10 days any changes in the student’s name or address.
6. The DSO updates SEVIS within 21 days of the change with any changes in student information. If the student reports employer information changes, the DSO should report it in SEVIS.

Key Dates

DSOs must be mindful of several key dates when entering practical training in SEVIS.

M-1 practical training applications can be difficult, because the M-1 period of stay must be sufficient to cover the amount of practical training requested.


Include in “Student Remarks” if the student is filing a Form I-539 for the OPT period or if they are not filing and the reason.

M-1 students, who need an extension of their Form I-20 to engage in practical training, may need to file two applications with USCIS:

  1. An Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)
    1. Filing fee
    2. Form I-20 with practical training recommendation
    3. Supporting documentation specified by USCIS
  2. An Application to Extend Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539)
    1. Filing fee
    2. Form I-20 with practical training recommendation
    3. Supporting documentation specified by USCIS

Go to the USCIS website for the forms, fees, and specific instructions. Also check USCIS processing times.

If... The Student Files

The student’s “Admit until date” (shown on the Form I-94) is:

  •        Later than the student’s program end date AND
  • Allows enough time for the student to finish the requested practical training 
Form I-765, filing fee, and supporting documents

The student’s “Admit until date” (shown on the Form I-94) does not cover the requested period of practical training

  • Form I-765, filing fee, and supporting documents
  • Form I-539, filing fee, and supporting documents

negative consequence Timing is everything. SEVIS displays the links for practical training 90 days before program end date in SEVIS.

Length of Practical Training Available for a Student

M-1 students are eligible for one month of post-completion practical training for every four months of full-time study, up to a maximum of six months of practical training.

Months of Study Months of PRACTICAL TRAINING Available
4 1
8 2
12 3
16 4
20 5
24 through 30 6

Student’s Form I-765 Filing Deadlines Once DSO Requests Practical Training in SEVIS


DSOs should cancel the practical training request in SEVIS, if the student does not file a Form I-765 with USCIS. The student’s SEVIS record remains in Active status, if the practical training request remains in Recommended or Pending status with USCIS.

If a DSO cancels a practical training request, any associated extension request should be:

  • Canceled, if it has not been mailed to USCIS.
  • Withdrawn by the student, if the Form I-539 has been mailed to USCIS.

The student must immediately leave the United States if:

  • The practical training request is canceled or denied AND

The student’s “Admit Until” date on the Form I-94 is in past.

Recommend Practical Training in SEVIS

To recommend practical training:

1. Navigate to the Student Information page.

2. Click OPT Request. The OPT Employment page opens. 

Screenshot of OPT Employment page.)

3. Click New OPT Request. The Add OPT Employment page opens. 

Screenshot of Add OPT Employment Page

4. Enter information relevant to the OPT authorization:

Field Description
*Full Time/Part Time Click the Full Time radio button.
Note: Part Time is not an option for M-1 practical training.
*Start Date Enter the requested date that practical training employment authorization starts.

Note: This date must be after the course of study ends. It cannot be more than 30 days after the end date for the course of study.
Format: MM/DD/YYYY

*End Date Enter the date the employment authorization is to end. 
Note: This date cannot be more than six months after the end date for the course of study.
Format: MM/DD/YYYY  
Student Remarks

Enter or update remarks regarding the student.
Note: Comments entered here overwrite any existing remarks that print in the Remarks field on Page 1 of the Form I-20.
Field size: 1000-character limit.

Employment Remarks Enter any applicable remarks about the student’s employment. 
Note: These remarks do not print on the Form I-20.
Field size: 250-character limit.

5. Review the information. Click either Save or Cancel:

  •  Save: Submits the practical training request. A message indicates that the update was successful.

Screenshot of Update Successful page

Click either Print I-20 or Return Employment List:

  • Print I-20: Prints the Form I-20 with the practical training recommendation.
    • Sign page one of the Form I-20, and give the printed Form I-20 to the student.
    • Student must sign page one of the Form I-20 and submit it to USCIS with the Form I-765 and supporting documents.
  • Return Employment List: Returns the user to the OPT Employment page. The newly added practical training employment will be on the list. 

Screenshot of OPT Employment page with requested practical training employment added.

  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns the user to the Student Information page.

6. Review the information on the OPT Employment page. To make changes to the existing practical training request, click Edit.

7. Click either:

  • Print I-20: Prints the Form I‑20.
  • Return: Returns the user to the Student Information page.

Edit Practical Training Request

Practical training information can be edited depending on the status of the request: 

Request Status Editable Fields
Requested
  • Full-time/Part-time
  • Employer Name
  • Employer Address
  • Explanation for relationship to course work
  • Fulfillment of 1-year requirement
  • Employment Remarks
  • Student Remarks
Pending
  • Full-time/Part-time
  • Employer Name
  • Employer Address
  • Explanation for relationship to course work
  • Fulfillment of 1-year requirement
  • Employment Remarks
  • Student Remarks
Approved
  •  Employer Name
  • Employer Address
  • Explanation for relationship to course work
  • Employment Remarks
  • Student Remarks

To edit a practical training request:

1. Click OPT Request on the Student Information page. The OPT Employment page opens.

OPT Employment page listing existing practical training request with the Edit button circled.

2. Click Edit to the right of the practical training segment to be edited. The Edit OPT Employment page opens.

Screenshot of OPT Employment page

3. Make any necessary edits:

Field Description
* Full Time/Part Time Click the Full Time radio button.
Note: Part Time is not an option for M-1 practical training.
Student Remarks Enter or update remarks regarding the student. 
Note: Comments entered here overwrite any existing remarks that print in the Remarks field on Page 1 of the Form I-20.
Field size: 1000-character limit.
Employment Remarks Enter any applicable remarks about the student’s employment. 
Note: These remarks do not print on the Form I-20.
Field size: 250-character limit.

4. Click either Save or Cancel:

  • Save: Updates this employment request in the student’s record. A message indicates if the edit was successful. Click either Print the updated Form I-20 or Return to Employment List:
    • Click Print the updated Form I-20, which prints the form.
      • Sign page one of the Form I-20, and give the printed Form I-20 to the student.
      • Student must sign page one of the Form I-20 and submit it to USCIS with the Form I-765 and supporting documents.
  • Click Return to Employment List to return to the OPT Employment page.
  • Cancel: Returns the user to the OPT Employment page without updating the employment segment.

Cancel/Withdraw Practical Training Request in SEVIS

A practical training request can be cancelled in SEVIS ONLY if the request status is Requested status. 

Note: Any request in Requested status longer than 180 days is automatically canceled by SEVIS.

Cancel Practical Training Request in SEVIS

To cancel a practical training request:

1. Navigate to the Student Information page.

2. Click OPT Request from the Student Information page. The OPT Employment page opens.

Screenshot of OPT Employment page with Cancel Request button circled

3. Click Cancel Request. A Confirm Cancelation of Request page opens.

Screenshot of Confirm Cancelation of Request page

4. Click either Yes or No:

  • Yes: Cancels the practical training request. A message verifies that the update was successful.
    • Click Return to View Record to return to the Student Information page.
    • The student’s practical training status in the Student Requests section updates to Canceled.
  •  No: Returns the user to the OPT Employment page without canceling the practical training request.

negative consequence 

If a DSO cancels a practical training request, any associated extension request should be:

  • Canceled, if it has not been mailed to USCIS.
  • Withdrawn by the student, if the Form I-539 has been mailed to USCIS.

The student must immediately leave the United States if:

  • The practical training request is canceled, withdrawn, or denied AND
  • The student’s “Admit Until” date on the Form I-94 is in past.

Withdraw Practical Training Request with USCIS

Once a practical training request status changes to Pending, the student must write USCIS to withdraw the practical training application. The request must:

  • Be sent to the USCIS Service Center processing the application. The address is on the USCIS-issued Receipt Notice sent to the student. 
  • Include the receipt number USCIS assigned the case when it was filed. If the practical training request has been approved, the EAD should also be returned.

negative consequence 

If a student withdraws a practical training request, any associated extension request should also be withdrawn.

The student must immediately leave the United States if:

  • The practical training request is canceled, withdrawn, or denied AND
  • The student's "Admit Until" date on the Form I-94 is in past. 

Report Practical Training Participation

While on practical training, a student is required to report to their DSO any change in their:

  • Legal name
  • U.S. home address while on practical training

DSOs update SEVIS to reflect the changes. 

negative consequence8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)
8 CFR 214.2(m)(18)

M-1 students are not required to report their employment while on practical training. However, if a student does report employer information, the DSO should enter it into SEVIS.

Periods of Unemployment

M-1 regulations do not provide for any periods of unemployment.

Correcting Practical Training Data: Correction Requests and Data Fixes

If SEVIS does not match the status of the student’s application filed with USCIS, DSOs can ask to have the record corrected. There are two ways to correct data in a student record:

Scenario Solutions
Information about the underlying practical training request is not accurate. For example, the status of the request is incorrect or the practical training dates in SEVIS do not match USCIS’ approved dates. DSO submits a “Request Change to Student Request” correction request. This requires SEVP review and approval.
Employer information is not accurate.     DSOs can add, edit, or delete employer information for up to 60 days after the Actual Practical Training end date. If it is later than that, a Help Ticket is required
Any other change. Call the SEVIS Help Desk (1-800-892-4829) to open a Help Ticket.

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.