F-1 Visa Renewal

The process of visa renewal is the same as when you applied for the student visa (F-1), except that you will not have to pay for the I-901 fee (SEVIS fee) again. You may want to request an additional support letter from the International Student Office as well as an unofficial transcript from the school. Keep in mind that as long as the I-20 is up to date, F-1 visa holders are OK to stay in the USA, even if the visa is expired. What keeps F-1 visa holders in status while studying in the USA is a valid I-20. You only need to renew your visa if you need to travel out of the USA. In this case, you will need a visa to re-enter the USA.

You cannot obtain a new visa while in the U.S. Visas are issued only at U.S. consulates outside the United States.

  • Third-country issuance of visas carries some risk.
  • Find out how long it will take to get a visa application appointment at a U.S. consulate and schedule an appointment ahead of time. Go to https://usembassy.gov.
  • Automatic Visa Revalidation is allowed in certain cases; Short trips (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands other than Cuba do not require an unexpired F-1 visa for re-entry into the U.S. As long as you donot attempt to renew your visa, you will be qualified to enter the U.S.

Any third country national (TCN) present in the United States who wishes to apply for a non-immigrant visa at any of the border posts in Canada or Mexico must plan far ahead for visa interviews. Please spare a few extra days for the return trips. It may take 2-3 days before the visa is ready. You may also need to apply for a visitor visa to the country in which you plan to renew the visa.

First, check the Consulate website for any restriction(s) before scheduling for a visa appointment (Mexico and Canada). U.S. consular offices are located in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Ciudad Juarez, Matamoras, Tijuana and more. Students from some countries are required to apply for a visa to travel to Canada first (Temporary Resident Visa) before applying for the F-1 visa renewal in Canada. Click here for more information. To schedule the F-1 visa application in Canada, you may also call (877) 341-2441. Please note that the U.S. Consulates in Mexico do not accept people who have changed status from B-1, B-2 or VWP (visa waiver) to any other non-immigrant classification (such as F-1).

Who Can Be Issued a Visa at a Border Post

If you have ever been out of status in the United States because you overstayed your Duration of Status, you are not eligible to apply at a border post. In other words, if you have remained in the United States longer than the period authorized by the immigration officer when you entered the United States in any visa category, you must apply in the country of your nationality. Consular officers at border posts will deny visas whenever they believe there are fraud indicators present, or their lack of knowledge of local conditions and familiarity with documents in the third country prevents them from properly adjudicating the case.

What to Bring

The following information can also be found at the U.S. Consulate website

You must present the following when you apply for a visa, regardless of your age.

  • Form DS-160, electronic application for nonimmigrant visa
  • An MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee ($160)
  • One photograph (2-inch square)
  • The I-20 (with travel signature update)
  • Passport that is valid for at least six months.
  • Proof of continued enrollment at Moody and/or an unofficial transcript
  • Proof of financial documents
  • Proof that you have paid your SEVIS fee (receipt of I-901 fee payment from the past)
  • Documents that demonstrate your “non-immigrant intent” such as proof of ties/residence in country outside the U.S.
  • Any previously issued I-20, older passports containing previous visas/ documents substantiating previous legal status in U.S.

International Student Office