Extending your stay as an F-1 student
do not need to apply to extend your stay in the United States as long as
you are maintaining your student status and making normal progress toward
completing your academic course of study. The designated school official
(DSO) from your school will write down a completion date on your INS Form
I-20 A-B (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status
- for Academic and Language Students). Under normal circumstances, you
should be able to complete your studies by this date. If you need to
extend your stay for compelling academic or medical reasons, then you and
the designated school official (DSO) should fill out INS Form I-538
(Certification By Designated School Official) and send it to the INS
student data center at least 30 days before the completion date listed on
INS Form I-20 A-B.
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