Series: F-1 Visa Application Process (Part IV)

Series: F-1 Visa Application Process (Part IV)

By the end of part III of the first official Optimus Language School blog series, we provided the last pieces of information and advice to assist in the F-1 visa application process. At this point, you should have all the tools you need to get you ready to study in the United States. We want to wish students coming to the Orange County area in California and other parts of the United States as well the best of luck while studying! In part IV, we discuss ways that you can extend your stay here in the states.

Prolonging your F-1 visa status can be a process in itself, but it is crucial to go through the proper channels in order to legally extend your stay here in the US. Students who stay in the US but fail to properly extend their stay past the original authorized time given on their F-1 visa form risk deportation as well as losing the ability to enter into the United States in the future. It is recommended to begin the process of extending your stay six to eight weeks prior to the date your F-1 visa will expire. Extending your stay for further study can be achieved through a meeting with your designated school official (DSO). The difficulty of extending your stay can vary depending on the institution you are involved with. However, in most cases, so long as you seek a solution to the issue before your visa has expired and you can prove that you are still diligently working toward your academic goals, your DSO will be able to grant you a new I-20 form with a later return date. It is also worth noting that, in the event that your F-1 visa expires, staying the US is still permissible so long as you have an I-20 that is not expired. However, although a valid I-20 form is enough to let you stay in the United States legally, it is not enough to grant you entry to the country when travelling from a foreign country.  In this case, a new F-1 visa must be obtained before entry to the country will be granted.

By its definition, the purpose of an F-1 visa is for a student to come to study in the United States. Should you find that you would like to stay in the United States when you have finished your studies, it is required that you change your visa status. While in the United States, changing your status does not require you to apply for a new visa. However, should you leave the US, a new visa must be obtained from the US embassy in your country. For further information on the many different visa status options that you may or may not be eligible to switch to, please visit the US Citizenship and Immigration website at

With the end of part IV, we conclude the first Optimus Language School blog series: the F-1 student visa application process. We hope that this common sense explanation of what is required of every travelling student coming to the US has provided some insight into the process and how you can make studying in the United States a reality. From your first step with a DS-160 form, to finding out how you can stay even longer after your studies have ended, the process of a foreign student coming to study in the US is not an easy one, but it is surely a worthwhile endeavor that any determined student can achieve.



Published on September 8, 2016

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