Similar to the F-1 status, M-1 holders are eligible to engage in employment opportunities in the form of practical training, after the completion of their full-course of studies. Practical training is designed to provide employment opportunities for M-1 students who wish to work and gain hands-on experience in their field of study. During the practical training period, it is still imperative for a student to maintain their M-1 status.
For those foreign students who are interested in participating in practical training, he/she must first apply for permission to accept employment for practical training, by filing Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), accompanied by the filing fee, and the student’s Form I-20 that has been endorsed for practical training by the designated school official. Any application for practical training must be submitted not more than 60 days before or 30 days after the program end date listed on the student’s Form I-20.
Furthermore, the DSO must certify on Form I-538 (Certification by Designated School Official), that:
The proposed employment is recommended for the purpose of practical training;
The proposed employment is related to the student’s course of study; and
Upon the designated school official’s knowledge, comparable employment is not available to the student in his/her country of residence.
Duration of Practical Training
Once the student is granted authorization to engage in employment for practical training, he/she will then be issued an employment authorization document (EAD); it should be noted that the student may not begin their employment until he/she has been issued their EAD. The M-1 status holder is able to engage in one month of employment authorization for each four month period of full-time study that he/she has completed. However, the student may not engage in more than six aggregate months of practical training. Furthermore, the student will not be issued employment authorization if he/she will not be able to complete the requested practical training within the designated six-month period.
Temporary Absences during the Practical Training Period
According to Federal regulations, an M-1 status holder who has been granted an employment authorization document to engage in practical training that temporarily leaves the United States, may be readmitted for the remainder of the authorized period indicated on the student’s Form I-20ID copy. The student must be returning to the United States to perform the authorized practical training and may not be readmitted to begin practical training which was not authorized prior to the student’s departure from the U.S.
What happens if there is a Strike or other Labor Dispute?
In the instance that during an M-1 student’s practical training a strike or labor dispute occurs, authorization for all employment training will be automatically suspended by the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary’s designee to the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations: 8 CFR § 214.2(m)(14)
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