Will I have to get a new VISA stamping if my visa expires in middle of my course ?

My STEM-OPT got denied so I have to go out of the country and re-enter U.S.My F1 visa expires on 11/26/2020.I have applied for Masters program and PhD programs in some universities.If i get an admission in any university the Masters program course duration would be 2 years and the PhD will be atleast 3 years but my visa will be expiring before the completion of my Masters or PhD degree.So,should I have to go for Visa stamping again to re enter the U.S or Is it ok to re-enter with my valid visa which is valid till 11/26/2020.Can you also let me know that whether I will be asked too many questions at the port of entry such as the reason of doing double degree e.t.c.Can anyone help me out.I am really confused.Thank You in Advance.


Lets get few basics here.

  1. A passport stamped Visa is a permit to legally ENTER into a country(USA). This doesnt give the right to live or do anything else except reaching the port of entry. Once you are at the Port of Entry, the immigration officer would give you permission to live and do anything(work etc) and the length of such permission(in US its called I-94).
  2. If you dont need to enter into US(while you are ALREADY in US legally, there is no point of entering right?), you dont need your passport stamped with Visa.
  3. While you are inside the united states, if you switch between visa categories(F, H etc), usually you dont need to leave the country just for stamping(but there are some instances where you must exit and enter back).
    Now, for your case, since you are going to change your F visa, I dont think that you need to get out of country, just for stamping.

I got the STEM-OPT denial letter on 2/19/2019.So,I can legally stay upto 60 days in the U.S right ? I have applied for some universities and waiting for my new I-20.So I will have to leave the country and should be back with the newi-20 with the valid visa.The question is my F1 visa is valid till 11/26/2020 and if i get an admission for either Masters or PhD the course duration will be 2 years and 3 years respectively.So should I re enter U,S with my current F1 visa which is valid till 11/26/2020 or will I have to get a new F1 stamping that should be valid till like 3 to 4 years ?

1 Like

Are you referring the STAMPED visa on your passport OR Actual “Notice of Approval” date here?

I am referring to the STAMPED visa on my passport.

Technically, you should be able to enter into US with your current valid passport-stamped F visa but you need to carry the new I-20 paperwork during the entry. (I am not very sure about this fact, please double check with right legal resource first).

1 Like

@abhi1832, agree with @ImmiGeek . In general, you need to have your F1 visa valid, when you re-enter US. Personally, I have had F1 stamp from a university and I used the same to re-enter after my transfer to another school during my masters…In your case, you will probably need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, check with your DSO as you are technically starting a new program and not a continuing student. Check SEVP ICE website Travel page , where it talks about I-901 fee for new program. Your DSO is your ultimate guide for this, double check with him/her.

Also, once you are in US, then all you need to do is maintain your status and your visa stamp validity does not matter as long as you maintain status. Read Visa Vs Status in USA