8 CFR 214.2(m)

Students in established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institutions, other than in language training programs.

This resource is a reference aid for authorized users of the NAFSA Adviser's Manual. This is not an official edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. Last updated to reflect: 87 FR 75891 (December 12, 2022), Removal of Obsolete procedures and Requirements Related to F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.

For information on the official edition of the Code of Federal Regulations published by the Government Printing Office, visit the Government Printing Office website.


8 CFR 214.2(m)

(m) Students in established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institutions, other than in language training programs -

Table 4 to Paragraph (m) - Paragraph Contents

Table 4 to Paragraph (m) - Paragraph Contents

(1) Admission of student.

(2) Form I-20 ID copy.

(3) Admission of the spouse and minor children of an M-1 student.

(4) Temporary absence.

(5) Period of stay.

(6)-(8) [Reserved].

(9) Full course of study.

(10) Extension of stay.

(11) School transfer.

(12) Change in educational objective.

(13) Employment.

(14) Practical training.

(15) Decision on application for extension, permission to transfer to another school, or permission to accept employment for practical training.

(16) Reinstatement to student status.

(17) Spouse and children of M-1 student.

(18) Current name and address.

(19) Special rules for certain border commuter students.

(20) Remittance of the fee.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)

(1) Admission of student -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(i)

(i) Eligibility for admission. A nonimmigrant student may be admitted into the United States in nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act, if:

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(i)(A)

(A) The student presents a Form I-20 or successor form issued in the student's own name by a school certified by SEVP for attendance by M-1 foreign students;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(i)(B)

(B) The student has documentary evidence of financial support in the amount indicated on the SEVIS Form I-20 or successor form; and

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(i)(C)

(C) For students seeking initial admission only, the student intends to attend the school specified in the student's visa (or, where the student is exempt from the requirement for a visa, the school indicated on the Form I-20 or successor form.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(ii)

(ii) [Reserved]

8 CFR 214.2(m)(1)(iii)

(iii) Use of SEVIS. Schools must issue a Form I-20 or successor form in SEVIS to any current student requiring a reportable action ( e.g., extension of stay, practical training, and requests for employment authorization) or a new Form I-20 or successor form, or for any aliens who must obtain a new nonimmigrant student visa.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(2)

(2) Student maintenance of Form I-20 or successor form. An M-1 student is expected to retain for safekeeping the initial Form I-20 or successor form bearing the admission number and any subsequent Form I-20 or successor form issued to the student. Should the student lose their current Form I-20 or successor form, a replacement copy bearing the same information as the lost copy, including any endorsement for employment and notations, should be issued by the DSO as defined in § 214.3(l)(1).

8 CFR 214.2(m)(3)

(3) Admission of the spouse and minor children of an M-1 student. The spouse and minor children accompanying an M-1 student are eligible for admission in M-2 status if the student is admitted in M-1 status. The spouse and minor children following-to-join an M-1 student are eligible for admission to the United States in M-2 status if they are able to demonstrate that the M-1 student has been admitted and is, or will be within 30 days, enrolled in a full course of study, or engaged in approved practical training following completion of studies. In either case, at the time they seek admission, the eligible spouse and minor children of an M-1 student must individually present a Form I-20 or successor form issued in the name of each M-2 dependent issued by a school certified by SEVP for attendance by M-1 students. A new Form I-20 or successor form is required for a dependent where there has been any substantive change in the M-1 student's current information.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(4)

(4) Temporary absence -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(4)(i)

(i) General. An M-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence to attend the school which the student was previously authorized to attend must present either-

(A) A properly endorsed Form I-20 or successor form if there has been no substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I-20 or successor form since the form was initially issued; or

(B) A new Form I-20 or successor form if there has been any substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I-20 or successor form since the form was initially issued.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(4)(ii)

(ii) Student who transferred between schools. If an M-1 student has been authorized to transfer between schools and is returning to the United States from a temporary absence in order to attend the school to which transfer was authorized as indicated on the student's Form I-20 or successor form, the name of the transfer-in school does not need to be specified in the student's visa.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(5)

(5) Period of stay. A student in M nonimmigrant status is admitted for a fixed time period, which is the period necessary to complete the course of study indicated on the Form 1-20 or successor form, plus practical training following completion of the course of study, plus an additional 30 days to depart the United States, but not to exceed a total period of one year. An M-1 student may be admitted for a period up to 30 days before the report date or start date of the course of study listed on the Form 1-20 or successor form. An M-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study or otherwise fails to maintain status is not eligible for the additional 30-day period of stay.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(6)-(8)

(6)-(8) [Reserved]

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)

(9) Full course of study. Successful completion of the course of study must lead to the attainment of a specific educational or vocational objective. A course of study at an institution not certified for attendance by foreign students as provided in § 214.3(a)(3) does not satisfy this requirement. A "full course of study" as required by section 101(a)(15)(M)(i) of the Act means-

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(i)

(i) Community college or junior college. Study at a community college or junior college, certified by a school official to consist of at least twelve semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term in those institutions using standard semester, trimester, or quarter-hour systems, where all students enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are charged full-time tuition or considered full-time for other administrative purposes, or its equivalent (as determined by SEVP in the school certification process) except when the student needs a lesser course load to complete the course of study during the current term;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(ii)

(ii) Postsecondary vocational or business school. Study at a postsecondary vocational or business school, other than in a language training program except as provided in § 214.3(a)(2)(iv), which confers upon its graduates recognized associate or other degrees or has established that its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three other institutions of higher learning which are either:

(A) A school (or school system) owned and operated as a public educational institution by the United States or a State or political subdivision thereof; or

(B) A school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body; and which has been certified by a designated school official to consist of at least 12 clock hours of instruction a week, or its equivalent as determined by SEVP in the school certification process;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(iii)

(iii) Study in a vocational or other nonacademic curriculum, other than in a language training program except as provided in §214.3(a)(2)(iv), certified by a designated school official to consist of at least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction, or at least twenty-two clock hours a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of shop or laboratory work; or

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(iv)

(iv) Study in a vocational or other nonacademic high school curriculum, certified by a designated school official to consist of class attendance for not less than the minimum number of hours a week prescribed by the school for normal progress towards graduation.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v)

(v) On-line courses/distance education programs. No on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward an M-1 student's full course of study requirement if such classes do not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. An on-line or distance education course is a course that is offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(vi)

(vi) Reduced course load. The designated school official may authorize an M-1 student to engage in less than a full course of study only where the student has been compelled by illness or a medical condition that has been documented by a licensed medical doctor, psychiatrist, doctor of osteopathy, licensed psychologist, or clinical psychologist to interrupt or reduce their course of study. A DSO may not authorize a reduced course load for more than an aggregate of 5 months per course of study. An M-1 student previously authorized to drop below a full course of study due to illness or medical condition for an aggregate of 5 months, may not be authorized by the DSO to reduce their course load on subsequent occasions during their particular course of study.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(vi)(A)

(A) [Reserved]

8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(vi)(B)

(B) Reporting requirements. In order for a student to be authorized to drop below a full course of study, the DSO must update SEVIS prior to the student reducing their load.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)

(10) Extension of stay -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)(i)

(i) Eligibility. The cumulative time of extensions that can be granted to an M-1 student is limited to a period of 3 years from the M-1 student's original start date, plus 30 days. No extension can be granted to an M-1 student if the M-1 student is unable to complete the course of study within 3 years of the original program start date. This limit includes extensions that have been granted due to a drop below full course of study, a transfer of schools, or reinstatement. An M-1 student may be granted an extension of stay if it is established that:

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)(i)(A)-(C)

(A) He or she is a bona fide nonimmigrant currently maintaining student status;

(B) Compelling educational or medical reasons have resulted in a delay to his or her course of study. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension; and

(C) He or she is able to, and in good faith intends to, continue to maintain that status for the period for which the extension is granted.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)(ii)

(ii) Application. A student must apply to USCIS for an extension on Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status or successor form. A student's M-2 spouse and children seeking an extension of stay must be included in the application. The student must submit the application at least 15 days but not more than 60 days before the program end date on the student's Form I-20 or successor form. The application must also be accompanied by the student's Form I-20 or successor form and the Form I-94 of the student's spouse and children, if applicable.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)(iii)

(iii) Period of stay. If an application for extension is granted, the student and the student's spouse and children, if applicable, are to be given an extension of stay for the period of time necessary to complete the course of study, plus 30 days within which to depart from the United States, or for a total period of one year, whichever is less. A student's M-2 spouse and children are not eligible for an extension unless the M-1 student is granted an extension of stay, or for a longer period than is granted to the M-1 student.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(10)(iv)

(iv) SEVIS update. The Form I-20 or successor form must be endorsed with the recommendation and new program end date for submission to USCIS, with Form I-539 or successor form, and Form I-94 if applicable.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(11)

(11) School transfer -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(11)(i)

(i) Eligibility. An M-1 student may not transfer to another school after six months from the date the student is first admitted as, or changes nonimmigrant classification to that of, an M-1 student unless the student is unable to remain at the school to which the student was initially admitted due to circumstances beyond the student's control. An M-1 student may be otherwise eligible to transfer to another school if the student-

8 CFR 214.2(m)(11)(i)(A)-(D)

(A) Is a bona fide nonimmigrant;

(B) Has been pursuing a full course of study at the school the student was last authorized to attend;

(C) Intends to pursue a full course of study at the school to which the student intends to transfer; and

(D) Is financially able to attend the school to which the student intends to transfer.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(11)(ii)

(ii) Transfer procedure. A student must apply to USCIS on Form I-539 or successor form, for permission to transfer between schools. Upon application for school transfer, a student may affect the transfer subject to approval of the application. A student who transfers without complying with this requirement or whose application is denied after transfer (pursuant to this section) is considered to be out of status. If the application is approved, the approval date of the transfer will be determined to be the program start date listed on the Form I-20 or successor form, and the student will be granted an extension of stay for the period of time necessary to complete the new course of study plus 30 days, or for a total period of one year, whichever is less. The student must first notify their current school (the "transfer-out" school) of the intent to transfer and indicate the school to which the student intends to transfer (the "transfer-in" school). Upon notification by the student, the transfer-out school must update SEVIS to show the student is transferring out, indicate the transfer-in school, and input the transfer release date. Once SEVIS is updated, the transfer-in school may generate a Form I-20 or successor form for transfer. However, the transfer-in school will not gain access to the student's SEVIS record until the release date. Upon receipt of the Form I-20 or successor form from the transfer-in school, the student must submit Form I-539 or successor form in accordance with this paragraph (m)(11). The student may enroll in the transfer-in school at the next available term or session and is required to notify the DSO of the transfer-in school immediately upon beginning attendance. The transfer-in school must update the student's registration record in SEVIS in accordance with § 214.3(g)(2)(iii). Upon approval of the transfer application, USCIS will transmit the approval of the transfer to SEVIS. If the application for transfer is denied, the student is out of status, and the student's record must be terminated in SEVIS.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(11)(iii)

(iii) Student who has not been pursuing a full course of study. If an M-1 student who has not been pursuing a full course of study at the school the student was last authorized to attend desires to attend a different school, the student must apply for reinstatement to student status under paragraph (m)(16) of this section.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(12)

(12) Change in educational objective. An M-1 student may not change educational objective.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(13)

(13) Employment. Except as provided in paragraph (m)(14) of this section, a student may not accept employment.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)

(14) Practical training -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(i)

(i) When practical training may be authorized. Temporary employment for practical training may be authorized only after completion of the student's course of study.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(i)(A)-(C)

(A) The proposed employment is recommended for the purpose of practical training;

(B) The proposed employment is related to the student's course of study; and

(C) Upon the designated school official's information and belief, employment comparable to the proposed employment is not available to the student in the country of the student's foreign residence.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(ii)

(ii) Application. An M-1 student must apply for permission to accept employment for practical training on Form I-765 or successor form, with fee as contained in 8 CFR part 106, accompanied by a properly endorsed Form I-20 or successor form by the DSO for practical training. The application must be submitted before the program end date listed on the student's Form I-20 or successor form but not more than 90 days before the program end date. By recommending practical training in SEVIS and endorsing the Form I-20 or successor form, the DSO certifies that-

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(ii)(A)-(C)

(A) The proposed employment is recommended for the purpose of practical training;

(B) The proposed employment is related to the student's course of study; and

(C) Upon the designated school official's information and belief, employment comparable to the proposed employment is not available to the student in the country of the student's foreign residence.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(iii)

(iii) Duration of practical training. When the student is authorized to engage in employment for practical training, they will be issued an EAD. The M-1 student may not begin employment until he or she has been issued an EAD by USCIS. One month of employment authorization will be granted for each four months of full-time study that the M-1 student has completed. However, an M-1 student may not engage in more than six months of practical training in the aggregate. The student will not be granted employment authorization if he or she cannot complete the requested practical training within six months.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(iv)

(iv) Temporary absence of M-1 student granted practical training. An M-1 student who has been granted permission to accept employment for practical training and who temporarily departs from the United States, may be readmitted for the remainder of the authorized period indicated on the student's Form I-20 or successor form. The student must be returning to the United States to perform the authorized practical training. A student may not be readmitted to begin practical training which was not authorized prior to the student's departure from the United States.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(v)

(v) Effect of strike or other labor dispute. Authorization for all employment for practical training is automatically suspended upon certification by the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary's designee to the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee that a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers is in progress in the occupation at the place of employment. As used in this paragraph (m)(14)(v), "place of employment" means wherever the employer or joint employer does business.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(14)(vi)

(vi) SEVP process. The DSO must update the student's record in SEVIS to recommend that USCIS approve the student for practical training, and generate a Form I-20 or successor form with the recommendation, for the student to submit to USCIS with Form I-765 as provided in this paragraph (m)(14).

8 CFR 214.2(m)(15)

(15) Decision on application for extension, permission to transfer to another school, or permission to accept employment for practical training. USCIS will notify the applicant of the decision and, if the application is denied, of the reason(s) for the denial. The applicant may not appeal the decision.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)

(16) Reinstatement to student status -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)

(i) General. USCIS may consider reinstating a student who makes a request for reinstatement on Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status or successor form, accompanied by a properly completed Form I-20 or successor form indicating the DSO's recommendation for reinstatement. USCIS may consider granting the request only if the student:

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(A)

(A) Has not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement (or demonstrates that the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that the student filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances);

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(B)

(B) Does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of DHS regulations;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(C)

(C) Is currently pursuing, or intends to pursue, a full course of study at the school which issued the Form I-20 or successor form;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(D)

(D) Has not engaged in unlawful employment;

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(E)

(E) Is not deportable on any ground other than section 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i) of the Act; and

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(F)

(F) Establishes to the satisfaction of USCIS, by a detailed showing, either that:

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(F)(1)

(1) The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight or neglect on the part of the DSO, but do not include instances where a pattern of repeated violations or where a willful failure on the part of the student resulted in the need for reinstatement; or

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(i)(F)(2)

(2) The violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(16)(ii)

(ii) Decision. The adjudicating officer will update SEVIS to reflect USCIS's decision. If USCIS does not reinstate the student, the student may not appeal the decision.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)

(17) Spouse and children of M-1 student. The M-2 spouse and minor children of an M-1 student will each be issued an individual Form 1-20 or successor form in accordance with the provisions of §214.3(k).

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(i)

(i) Employment. The M-2 spouse and children may not accept employment.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)

(ii) Study.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)(A)

(A) M-2 post-secondary/vocational study -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)(A)(1)

(1) Authorized study at SEVP-certified schools. An M-2 spouse or M-2 child may enroll in less than a full course of study, as defined in paragraphs (f)(6)(i)(A) through (D) or (m)(9)(i) through (v), in any course of study described in paragraphs (f)(6)(i)(A) through (D) or (m)(9)(i) through (v) of this section at an SEVP-certified school. Notwithstanding paragraphs (f)(6)(i)(B) and (m)(9)(i) of this section, study at an undergraduate college or university or at a community college or junior college is not a full course of study solely because the M-2 nonimmigrant is engaging in a lesser course load to complete a course of study during the current term. An M-2 spouse or M-2 child enrolled in less than a full course of study is not eligible to engage in employment pursuant to paragraph (m)(14) of this section or pursuant to paragraphs (f)(9) through (10) of this section.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)(A)(2)

(2) Full course of study. Subject to paragraph (m)(17)(ii)(B) of this section, an M-2 spouse and child may engage in a full course of study only by applying for and obtaining a change of status to F-1, M-1, or J-1 status, as appropriate, before beginning a full course of study. An M-2 spouse and M-2 child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature, up to and including on a full-time basis.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)(B)

(B) M-2 elementary or secondary study. An M-2 child may engage in full-time study, including any full course of study, in any elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade).?

8 CFR 214.2(m)(17)(ii)(C)

(C) An M-2 spouse or child violates his or her nonimmigrant status by enrolling in any study except as provided in paragraph (m)(17)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section.?

8 CFR 214.2(m)(18)

(18) Current name and address. A student must inform DHS and the DSO of any legal changes to the student's name or of any change of address, within 10 days of the change, in a manner prescribed by the school. A student can satisfy the requirement in 8 CFR 265.1 of notifying DHS by providing a notice of a change of address within 10 days to the DSO, and the DSO in turn must enter the information in SEVIS within 21 days of notification by the student. Except in the case of a student who cannot receive mail where the student resides, the address provided by the student must be the actual physical location where the student resides rather than a mailing address. In cases where a student provides a mailing address, the school must maintain a record of, and must provide upon request from DHS, the actual physical location where the student resides.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(19)

(19) Special rules for certain border commuter students -

8 CFR 214.2(m)(19)(i)

(i) Applicability. For purposes of the special rules in this paragraph (m)(19), the term "border commuter student" means a national of Canada or Mexico who is admitted to the United States as an M-1 student to enroll in a full course of study, albeit on a part-time basis, in a certified school located within 75 miles of a United States land border. The border commuter student must maintain actual residence and place of abode in the student's country of nationality, and seek admission to the United States at a land border port-of-entry. These special rules do not apply to a national of Canada or Mexico who is:

(A) Residing in the United States while attending a certified school as an M-1 student; or

(B) Enrolled in a full course of study as defined in paragraph (m)(9) of this section.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(19)(ii)

(ii) Full course of study. A designated school official at the school may authorize an eligible border commuter student to enroll in a course load below that otherwise required for a full course of study under paragraph (m)(9) of this section, provided that the reduced course load is consistent with the border commuter student's certified course of study.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(19)(iii)

(iii) Period of stay. An M-1 border commuter student is not entitled to an additional 30-day period of stay otherwise available under paragraph (m)(5) of this section.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(19)(iv)

(iv) Employment. A border commuter student may not be authorized to accept any employment in connection with his or her M-1 student status, except for practical training as provided in paragraph (m)(14) of this section.

8 CFR 214.2(m)(20)

(20) Remittance of the fee. An alien who applies for M-1 or M-3 nonimmigrant status in order to enroll in a program of study at an SEVP-certified vocational educational institution is required to pay the SEVIS fee to DHS, pursuant to § 214.13, except as otherwise provided in that section.