7 Day Free Trial at Magoosh.com.

Hello Everyone,


I saw one of the questions asked by the students in the facebook group and I thought of sharing this question and replying to it. The student asked the following question in the group “Guys..I have got visa which is valid for 5 years…but my course mentioned on i20 is of 2 years…so does it mean that I can work for 3 years after studies ??

I guess many students might have this question in their minds and tI thought of providing an answer to this question. I have written the answer in points so that it would be much more easier to understand.

Answer from Admin:

  1. F-1 Visa is usually stamped for 5 years no matter the length of your program
  2. I-20 states your actual length of your program
  3. Generally after you complete your MS, you apply for OPT.
  4. OPT Stands for Optional Practical Training which allows you to work in any company for a period of 12 months after MS. The work must be related to your MS Course to get OPT
  5. When you apply for your OPT, you will get a new I-20 with OPT Start and End Date
  6. After 12 months, if your course comes under STEM Extension, you are allowed to work extra 17 months after your OPT Period gets exhausted. Again a new I-20 will be issued with STEM Start and End Date.

Important things to Notice:

  • F-1 Visa stamp for 5 years doesn’t mean you can stay in USA for five years. There are certain rules which you must abide.
  • After the end date mentioned in your I-20, you are given a 60 day grace period in which you can either find a job or pursue higher studies. After 60 days if you aren’t able to find a job or pursue higher studies, you are not authorized to stay in USA even though you have F-1 Visa Stamping for 5 years.
  • Yes, you are allowed to work for a period of 29 months in all (OPT + STEM) in USA. Generally during your OPT Period itself students request the company in which they work to apply for H1B Visa.


I guess I made the points clear. If you have any doubts please use the comment box below.


F-1 Visa Stamped for 5 years But I-20 Is Of 2 Years?

4 thoughts on “F-1 Visa Stamped for 5 years But I-20 Is Of 2 Years?

  • July 2, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Sir, i have to get job offer letter for company which is related to my field for apply OPT/get OPT??? Or i can get approval OPT without any job offer letter???…please suggest me sir…Thanks…

    • July 2, 2015 at 7:08 am

      when you apply for OPT.. you will get a card called EAD Card which authorizes you to work in USA…. for applying for OPT you dont need any offer letter

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Raghav,

    My husband got converted the status from b1 to f1 and got approval on october 2015. I applied for f2 visa from Mumbai (i stay in hyderabad), the VO asked me few questions like what is ur husband name university he is studying, when did he go to usa. About me she asked questions if i have children, my qualification and I work for an ecommerce company she asked me if you work and said sorry I cannot approve your visa. and gave me 214b letter.

    Am reapplying for my f2 visa. could you please let me know how can i get the visa approved this time or the details I should mention . (like unemployed etc)

    Thanks for your help.

    • March 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      You should concentrate towards stating you wish to live with your husband as he is in the USA and state firmly that you won’t focus towards employment.


Leave a Reply to Shrinivas Raghav Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Like Box provided by technology reviews
Get Adobe Flash player