Office of International Programs
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.
Documents Required For Visa Renewal
- A passport valid for at least six months;
- An application Form DS-156, together with a Form DS-158. Both forms must be completed and signed. Some applicants will also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. Blank forms are available without charge at all US consular offices and on the Visa Services website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_1342.html.
- A receipt for visa processing fee. A receipt showing payment of the visa application fee for each applicant, including each child listed in a parent’s passport who is also applying for a U.S. visa, is needed.
- A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed by a school official 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.
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 Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html.