Renewing Your Visa

If you have an expired F-1 student visa and you need to leave the country, you will need to renew your visa if you wish to return to the United States.  Please note that you can stay in the United States on an expired visa if you have a valid I-20, you just can’t leave the country and reenter with an expired visa.  If you do need to renew your visa, please speak with ISS as you will need documents from us.

You will need to schedule a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate and take the following documents with you:

  • Valid I-20 with a valid travel signature on page 2
  • Passport with at least 6 months left until it expires
  • Updated bank statement reflecting the cost of your current program
  • Official, sealed transcripts from the registrar’s office.  If you have studied at multiple schools, then you should have transcripts for each.
  • A letter from ISS (us)
  • Good to have – proof of ties to your home country, such as personal property, family ownership, or investments

Visa renewals are fairly straight forward and shouldn’t take much time.  Please be prepared to answer similar questions in a visa interview for a new student.  See the Getting a Student Visa page for more information on the questions.

If you are on OPT, you can renew your visa if you leave the country and still have a valid I-20.  Make sure you are prepared to answer questions about what you will do after OPT.

If you changed your visa within the United States, you will need to renew your visa when you leave the country.  Please take your change of status receipts and approval notices.