While completing DS160, nonimmigrant visa application form, there’s a question about Intended Length of Stay.
Almost, every applicant for F1 Visa ponders what to answer for “Intended Length of Stay”.
There is a section in your I-20 that says, ” The normal length of study is 24 months/30 months/5years.”
It means your university expects you to finish your course in that duration (until and unless you speed up by taking more courses in each semester or slow down by taking only minimum required credits to fulfill F-1 status).
Now, you can include your one year OPT into the duration in your I-20, making your intended length of stay one year longer than what is mentioned in your I-20.
If you qualify for STEM OPT, then you could make the intended length of stay to as follows:
- Bachelors – 2 Years
- Masters – 1 to 3 years
- OPT – 12 months
- STEM OPT – 24 Months
The answer could be 5 years or just duration of your degree.
But better I wouldn’t mention your intended length of stay shorter than the duration mentioned in your I-20.
However, it is good to include your OPT period into your intended length of stay because VO knows that almost nobody comes back without doing OPT.
Therefore, in my opinion, the best answer for the intended length of stay is should equal to the normal length of the study mentioned in your I-20.
And you can choose to add OPT and STEM OPT.
Remember, the duration mentioned on your I-20 does not include your OPT duration. My current answer may contradict my previous answer but that’s fine.
Related: Form I20 Sample – Old vs New Format