How Long Can an F-1 Student Stay in The United States? When you begin attending a college or a university for international studies in the United States, you’ll want to take steps to keep your status as a student. This status notifies government officials why you are in the U.S. or are asking to live temporarily in the country. The United States Department of State approves people’s visas based on why they want to be in the country.

Different Types of Visas

The U.S. issues F1 and M1 visas to students. F1 visas are for students who intend to enroll in a classic academic program, while M1 visas are for those who want to take a vocational program.

Since these two programs are different, the benefits that international students may receive and the length of time they’ll be permitted to stay in the United States depend on the type of visa they qualify for.

How to Maintain Your Visa Status 

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To maintain your visa status, you must:

• Arrive in the U.S. 30 days or less before your courses are scheduled to start

• Connect with your assigned school official once you’re in the U.S.

• Contact your school official after you arrive at your school

Maintaining your visa status also requires you to attend your classes regularly and progress academically. If schoolwork is challenging, talk it over with your assigned school official.

You must sign up for a full study course every term. If you cannot keep up with a full-time schedule, notify your assigned school official. There are some circumstances where students are approved for a decreased course load.

Be sure to talk to your school official before dropping out of a class. You should also discuss a program extension if it looks like you won’t be able to complete your study program before your visa expires. Also, you’ll need to request an extension before your study program ends.

How Long Do Visas Last?

Visa expiration dates vary on the type of visa. Your visa may be valid for the entire time you’ll attend school in the U.S. or for just a fraction of that time. If your study course lasts a year, then the Embassy will probably approve you for an F1 visa, which lasts for one year.

If your educational program is a two-year one and you receive approval for a one-year visa, you will likely have the opportunity to renew it. When this happens, the best option is to renew an F1 visa. When you enter the country, you’ll receive two forms, the 1-20 and the 1-94. These forms will show your visa’s valid dates.

If you end up coming to the United States on an M1 student visa, this permit will only be valid for a year. You can request a three-year renewal with this type of visa. Students in the country with an M1 visa are only permitted to study part-time for up to six months. There are conditions that apply. These students are allowed to change to a different school during the first six months of their educational program.

The J1 visa features numerous classifications that vary from an au pair to an intern designation. The timeline of these programs is different from one to another. For instance, if you’re coming to the United States to learn as an intern, your visa will be valid for one year. If you’ll be a trainee in a company, then your visa will be valid for 18 months.

How Long Can You Stay in The U.S. Following Graduation? 

If you’re in the country with an F1 visa, you’ll need to leave the United States within 60 days of your school program’s ending date. Students with J or M visas must leave the country within 30 days of their school program’s completion date. If you wish to stay longer, you may apply for an extension through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services site.

If you’d like to remain in the United States to work after earning a degree, then be sure to review the visa requirements and limitations. Because there are different student visas available, understanding the country’s immigration requirements and rules can be challenging and confusing. Eligibility and legal declarations are forever fluctuating, which makes the visa renewal process even more challenging. Be sure to double check eligibility when requesting a renewal.

Once a student with an F1 visa has graduated, they are eligible to stay in the country for up to one year to complete optional practical training. This means that you would be able to work in your education field for a year after completing your international studies. If you apply for this additional training, you will receive a temporary employment permit that lets new graduates acquire hands-on experience.

Students with an M1 visa can also stay in the U.S. a little longer for training, but they are only allowed to work in temporary positions. An official must recommend the job for practical training and relate to what the student was studying. In addition, this type of training cannot be available in their home country.

If a student comes to the country under a J1 visa, they are eligible to stay for training in their field or for something relating to it for up to 18 months after graduating. Along with this, students with this type of visa who also have a Ph.D. can request an additional 18 months of academic training in their specialized field.

Working After Graduation 

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If you receive an optional practical training extension, apply for an H-1B visa. This visa is valid for three years, and it’s an excellent way for you to stay in the country and gain work experience. You can also renew it for another three years. However, six years is the longest that you can stay in the country on this visa.

Keep in mind that the F1 student visa gives you temporary approval to live in the U.S. The H-1B visa extends that time somewhat, but if you are looking to stay in the country permanently, you’ll want to get a green card. It is the first step to citizenship, and it will allow you to stay in the country and work while enjoying financial benefits. Remember that green cards are in demand, so it could take years to get one.

If You Stay Past Your Visa Expiration Date 

If you remain in the country past your visa’s expiration date, you will lose the ability to modify or extend your visa status. In this situation, you would face work challenges. For instance, if a company offered you a job, you would have to leave the country and go to a United States consulate to request a nonimmigrant visa or a green card.

English Schools in Las Vegas

The Uceda School is one of the top English schools in Las Vegas. We strive to ensure that our students gain the language skills needed to thrive in a world that’s becoming global. We also want to help them excel in their international studies. For more information about our school, contact us at 702-586-3131.

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