On February 14, 2006, the State Department announced that it has extended the length of time that international students may apply for an initial entry F-1, F-2, M-1 or M-2 visa. Such visas may now be issued up to 120 days before the academic program start date (as compared to 90 days under previous regulations). J-1 and J-2 visa applicants may be issued visas at any time before the beginning of their programs.
This change applies only to initial entry students.
Please note that the limit on when an initial entry F or M student can arrive in the United States has not changed . That limit is still up to 30 days prior to the program start date.
To read the official State Department announcement, see:
Last Updated: 10/3/12