What is My Duration of Status?
March 19, 2015
As an international student in the United States, you have a certain amount of time to arrive in the country, complete your studies and return to your home country. Understanding the length of time you are permitted to be in the United States is a very important part of maintaining your status.
When you arrive at a U.S. port of entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will provide you with an admission stamp that will list the date in which you must depart the United States. As an F-1 student, you will most likely have duration of status (D/S) listed on your admission stamp. D/S means you may remain in the United States so long as you maintain your nonimmigrant student status.
As an F-1 student, to maintain your student status you should complete your program of study by the program end date listed on your Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status." If you need more time to graduate or complete your program, you must request a later program end date by contacting your designated school official (DSO), who can print an updated Form I-20 for you. If you participate in optional practical training (OPT), your duration of status will extend to the end of your OPT. After your program or OPT ends, you will have 60 days to depart the United States, unless you are changing your status or starting a new program of study.
Remember, your visa expiration date does not determine your permitted length of stay in the United States. Find more information on your visa expiration date versus your duration of status through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website.
If you have any questions regarding your D/S or official authorized length of stay, contact your DSO or stop by the international students’ office at your school.