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Southern Oregon University

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Renewing Your F-1 Student Visa

As long as you are student in good standing and have not violated your status, you may legally remain in the United States with an expired F-1 visa. If you exit the United States and apply for a visa, you cannot return to the United States until the visa is issued. This could require a lengthy stay. If the visa is denied, you will not be able to return to the US as a student.

You cannot renew your student visa while in the US. The Department of State recommends that you apply for a visa in your home country. You may be able to apply for a new visa in Canada or Mexico. Contact the individual US embassy or consulate in Canada or Mexico. However, you cannot return to the United States until your visa is issued. If the visa is denied, you will not be able to return to the US as a student.

1. Complete the following forms:

  • Form DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
  • Form DS-158 (Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant)
  • Form DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application) Not required for all applicants.


2. Provide the following documents:

  • A passport valid for at least six months.
  • A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed by SOU within the past six months.
  • An up-to-date official transcript from each school you have attended.
  • New financial documents from you or your sponsor, showing your ability to cover the cost of your schooling.


3. Pay the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Processing Fee.

Re-Validating Your F-1 Student Visa

Automatic visa revalidation allows most F-1 students to take a trip of less than thirty days to countries contiguous to the United States and reenter on an expired visa provided you have proper documentation and have not applied for a new visa during the visit. This process revalidates your visa (making it eligible for the single trip), but does not renew it.

For more information about visa renewal, please visit the US Department of State.

For additional assistance, contact the Office of International Programs.