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I am a Japanese citizen who was recently admitted to a Ph.D. program in the United States and now I need to get an F-1 visa. I will have an interview in June, and there is one thing I am worried about.

The website of the embassy states that I need:

A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).

My I-20 says that the length of the program is 6 years, but my passport is only valid for 4 years. So I wrote in my DS-160 that my intended length of stay is 4 years.

However, this seems to suggest that I am not supposed to have the discrepancy, and I also heard that some people got rejected their visas for a similar reason(intended stay length is longer than stated in I-20).

I asked the embassy about this, but they responded that "the six months rule is not the case for your country", which does not seem to be related to my issue at all.

I also tried to renew my passport, but the local official said that it is legally not possible.

Should I rewrite my DS-160 to match the length? or should I not do anything at all?

Edit: I got through the interview. I rewrote my DS-160 to 5 years(I don’t know what I was thinking about). As the comment said, it’s pretty likely that it didn’t matter at all, so as the answer said, I didn’t even need to cut off my answer.

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    "intended stay length is longer than stated in I-20": That's a problem but one you don't have, you wrote a shorter period. In all likelihood it does not matter, especially when you already booked an interview.
    – xngtng
    May 27 at 12:48
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The rule is that for an entering nonimmigrant, their passport has to be valid for 6 months beyond the end of the period of stay (or, for passports from countries in the 6-month club, their passport has to be valid until the end of the period of stay). What this means is practice is that the admit-until date given by the immigration officer at entry on the I-94 will be no later than 6 months before the passport's expiration (or, for passports from countries in the 6-month club, no later than the passport's expiration). I believe that this is compatible with the nonimmigrant's intent to renew his/her passport while in the US and apply for Extension of Stay in the US, if their period of admission was cut short by their passport expiration.

In the case of F1, they are admitted for "D/S" on their I-94, not for a date, so the rule on passport validity doesn't really have an effect on stay on F1 status (as long as the passport is valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry; or, for passports from countries in the 6-month club, is valid for any period of time at the time of entry). Again, the nonimmigrant can intend to renew his/her passport while in the US, and thus stay longer than the expiration of the passport they used at entry.

So I don't see a need to cut short your answer for intended length of stay on your visa application due to your passport expiration. Since the visa's validity can be longer than the passport's validity, and a visa on an expired passport can be used with a new passport of the same type from the same country, the answers on your visa application form could potentially refer to stays on that visa with a new passport too.

I don't know whether cutting short your answer for intended length of stay could lead to a denial of your visa.

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