An M Visa is designated for aliens who wish to come to the United States in order to pursue full-time studies at a school or institution within the country. Those looking to obtain an M Visa must plan to pursue a full course of study at a pre-approved college or vocational institution. There are other requirements that must be met in order to become eligible for an M Visa, such as maintaining a foreign residence and being qualified for the particular area of study. Generally, students carrying an M Visa are permitted to stay in the United States for one year; however, an extension of stay may be filed.
The skilled immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss have extensive experience handling matters relating to M Visas. After completing your study, you may stay in the United States for a maximum of six months in order to complete employment for practical training. You are also given a 30-day grace period after both your studies and employment training have ended in order to prepare for return to your home country.
If you require more than one year’s time to complete your studies, you may be eligible to file for an extension of stay if you can establish the following:
- You currently maintain a student status
- You have a medical or educational reason for which a delay in your course of study has occurred
- You are willing and able to maintain your student status for the extension of stay period
An extension of stay can be granted for a cumulative period of up to three years from the original start date. To petition for an extension of stay, you’ll need to fill out a Form I-539, or application to extend/change non-immigrant status. It's important to keep in mind that students holding M visas cannot change their status to an H-1B visa if the training received during your studies helped you qualify for an H status. For more information on filing extensions of stay, as well as general information on immigration law, visit Berd & Klauss online.