Are you a student in the United States who has reached your goals in education only to find that your graduation has been delayed? There is no need to panic because student visa extensions may provide the additional time you need. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is set up a meeting with your DSO before the end date on your present I-20 form.
Have you been keeping up with your status during your time studying in the United States? And do you have a clean record with the proper grade point average? Finally, can you prove you need more time in the United States? Your DSO has the ability to extend your program end date. If you receive an extension, you will also get a new program end date with a new I-20 form.
If you did not meet with your DSO before the end date on your I-20 form and you are afraid you are out of status, you still have options. You should set up a meeting with your DSO right away. Each situation is unique. However, these are the primary two options that fit most scenarios:
You can apply to have your student visa status renewed while still remaining in the United States. This process includes filing an application with the USCIS. A great benefit to applying for reinstatement is that if the application is accepted, your position is returned to you as though it had not ever changed. Another perk to this option is that you will be able to request certain employment options. However, there is a potential downfall to this option. You may run the risk of accruing time considered unlawful presence in the US.
Update your I-20
This option is available for you if you do not apply for the above. You can leave the country and put in an application for a new F-1 visa through the United States consulate in your native country. If this is the option you choose, your DSO will provide you with a new I-20.
The benefit to this option is that it may be faster than the reinstatement option. Therefore, you may avoid the potential risk of drawing time under unlawful presence. The downfall to this option is that you will not be able to apply for authorized employment like you would through reinstatement. That is, unless you complete the year-long academic requirement. You will also be required to pay the SEVIS fee once again.
The primary key to extending your student visa is to is to act quickly, regardless of which route you choose to take. For a complimentary, confidential consultation about your student visa extension, call the Lee Law Firm now at (404) 892-8300.