UCLA Extension

Length of Stay in the U.S.

  • Your I-20 is valid for 1 year from the date your program begins. You can continue to enroll for classes during the year your I-20 is valid. Your I-20 is “active” only when you are enrolled in an eligible program and studying full-time.
  • When you enter the United States with an I-20 and F-1 visa, the Customs and Border Patrol officer at the port of entry writes “D/S” on your I-94 card meaning “Duration of Status.” This means that your stay in the U.S. is lawful so long as your status as an F-1 student remains intact. If you fall out of status your lawful time in the U.S. will end.
  • Managing your status: You do this by meeting or exceeding academic progress and registration rules as they relate to your ALC program.
  • Your time begins with your reporting date for orientation, shown in section 5 on your I-20 form. You can enter the United States up to 30 days before your program begins. Failure to check-in by your reporting date could result in your being counted as a “no show,” resulting in termination of your I-20 and F-1 status.
  • Your time ends with the date indicated on the I-20 that says “no later than ___/___/__.”

Changing Your Length of Stay

  • The end date on your I-20 is fixed. To stay past your I-20 end date, you must enroll in additional eligible programs and apply for a new I-20 before your current I-20 end date, which is indicated in item #5 of your I-20.