An F1 visa is accompanied by the Form I-20. The I-20 must be valid during the period of enrollment.
The period of the I-20 is listed on the first page of the form.
The visa period is on the visa stamp.
These two validity periods are not necessarily the same.
For example, suppose you enroll in a six-month program and get a Form I-20 from your school for a six-month period.
However, you may also get an F1 visa with a five-year validity period.
It is vital that all students with a visa also hold a valid I-20. Even if your visa is valid, if your I-20 expires, you may be staying in the country illegally.
If your I-20 validity period expires, you must do one of the following:
- Transfer into a different school within 60 days from your current program ending date
- Leave the United States within 60 days from your current program ending date
- Have the I-20 renewed at the current school (this may or may not be possible)
The 60 days above are referred to as the Grace Period. If you complete the program you have enrolled in, you will receive a 60-day legal stay.
If you drop out of school, you will not be able to receive this grace period and you will not be able to transfer to another school.
If you stay in the United States beyond the grace period, and don’t follow the above procedures, your stay will become illegal.
If you want to finish your current program and still continue your studies in the United States, please apply to your school for an extension of your I-20. Ensure you retain the most current valid I-20.
The extension procedure for the New York English Academy is as follows:
- Fill out the application form for the next program
- Prepare a bank balance certificate
- Pay the fees for the next program
Staying in the United States is legal as long as you have a valid Form I-20 even if your visa expires during your stay in the United States. It is not illegal to stay.
However, once you leave the United States and re-enter the country, a valid visa is required, so you will need to extend your visa.
Applying for an extension of your visa is not possible within the United States. You will need to leave the United States or go back to your home country.
The New York English Academy helps you prepare your documents, such as transcripts and letters, so that you don't have any problems applying for an extension.