When your stay on an academic student visa, also known as an F-1 visa, is over, you are expected to leave the United States. One of the challenges with this is that the majority of students are not given an exact departure date from the United States. This is usually because the border control officers upon entrance will make a D/S note in the arrival and departure record for the student. This means Duration of Status. This means in the majority of cases that students are eligible to stay in the US as long as they are pursuing practical training or a full time course of study and complying with other terms associated with the F-1 visa.

In addition to these stipulations you can stay 60 days after you have completed your training program in order to prepare to leave the United States or to transfer to another school. Students may get confused because the actual F-1 visa they received from the consulate office in the United States may have an expiration date. This refers to the last date that you would be eligible use the visa to enter the United States, not the date by which you must leave the United States.

If you do attempt to stay beyond the duration of your legal status in the United States, this is a violation of United States laws and carries heavy penalties. Your visa will automatically become void if you overstay by even one day. If you are planning to apply for a change of your status or an extension without leaving the US, you’ll be unable to do so if you overstay your visit. You will instead have to visit a consulate or a US embassy outside of the United States in order to initiate the application for a new visa.

There are even more serious penalties if you stay six months or longer beyond the date on which you were supposed to leave the United States. As you can see, these issues can be quite complex and very frustrating for you if you are unfamiliar with the United States immigration requirements. This is why you should hire an Arizona immigration attorney if you believe that you will soon be approaching the date on which your student visa in the US will expire. This gives you an overview of your options and allows you to plan ahead without having to worry about facing serious consequences for breaking the law.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What to Do If Your Student Visa Expires, or other immigration matters , please feel free to contact Matthew L. White at  480.461.5304, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.