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Ely
Ely, Lawyer
Category: US Law
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Experience:  Counselor at Law. Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a valid F1 visa, but my I 20 has expired and was not

Customer Question

I have a valid F1 visa, but my I 20 has expired and was not extended. I am still enrolled in the same school and I have only six courses to graduate. Can I finish my studies with out leaving the US as long as my F1 visa is valid?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me (1) how long your I-20 has been expired, and, (2) why did you not get it extended - did you try - and if so, did the college refuse?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
i 20 Will expire aug 24th 2013. F1 visa is valid until May 2014
School International students advisor told me it is risky that Immigration might not grant the extension of the I 20.

Can I stay in the US and finish my studies without extending the I 20?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

School International students advisor told me it is risky that Immigration might not grant the extension of the I 20.

Well you do not have a choice here! Your International Advisor estimated the length of your program when you were issued an I-20. The program ending date is on your I-20. If you need more time then you must request an extension! If you do not, and your I-20 expires while your program is still going on, you STILL HAVE TO LEAVE within 60 days of it expiring, period!

This is UNLESS you extend your I-20 ahead of time for good reason, such as the program running longer than anticipated. If it is the truth, USCIS will likely agree to extend it.

So no, you cannot finish your studies if your I-20 is expired; you'd need to leave in 60 days once it is! So you must extend before it expires (extending after it already has expired is called reinstatement is very difficult and is often denied).

So regardless of your F-1's status, your I-20 is the focus of your ability to stay. Someone in your situation needs to talk to their adviser again and if necessary, retain counsel from the outside to do what is necessary to extend the I-20.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So what would be the best approach?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your reply. I am sorry, I was offline when you replied and did not see your reply until now.

The best approach would be to talk to the adviser and and request an extension of the I-20 to the end of the program, and it is best to do this before the I-20 expires.

Often, USCIS allows the extension if the program is simply taking a bit longer than usual.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.

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