International Students - Renewing Your F-1 Visa

PCCC Student and Instructor in the classroom

Renewing Your F-1 Visa

If your F-1 visa has expired – you do not need to panic. It is perfectly legal for you to stay in the U.S. with an expired F-1 visa as long as you are following the rules of your F-1 status.

 

However, if your F-1 visa has expired and you choose/need to travel outside of the U.S. you will need to re-apply for a new F-1 visa at the U.S. consulate in your home country before you are able to return to the U.S. Also, if you entered the United States under a different visa status and changed your visa status to F-1 while in the United States – you will also need to apply for an F-1 visa if you leave the U.S.

 

You should start the visa process as soon as possible upon your arrival back in your home country. Keep in mind that the holiday periods (Christmas/New Year) and summer vacation are very busy times at visa issuing posts. In addition, security checks on visa applicants may further delay the issuance of visas.

 

SEVIS and the SEVIS FEE

Visa officials are required to verify your record in the SEVIS system before a visa can be approved. 

 

Please Note – Continuing F-1 students who are renewing an F-1 visa are not required to pay the SEVIS Fee. Students who were approved for a change of status to F-1 while in the U.S. and are now applying for an F-1 visa will need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee.

 

Visit the http://www.fmjfee.com SEVIS fee web site for more information on the SEVIS fee.

 

DOCUMENTS NEEDED IN ORDER TO RE-APPLY FOR A NEW F-1 VISA

____SEVIS I-20 - Check the front of your I-20 to make sure your major, and source of funding are correct. If you need a new I-20 you will need to provide updated proof of financial support.



____PASSPORT - If traveling outside the U.S. your passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future upon your return to the U.S. Passport may be renewed at your country’s embassy in the United States, or in your home country.

 

____LETTER FROM YOUR FOREIGN STUDENT ADVISOR – A letter from your international student advisor certifying that you are an international student at PCCC maintaining status.

 

____PCCC TRANSCRIPT – Bring a copy of your transcript to prove that you have been maintaining your status and making academic progress. Also, bring with you a copy of your current semester schedule, with proof from the Bursar Office that you have paid your bill.



____FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION –Updated documented proof of financial support from the sponsor that appears on your I-20.



____OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING – If you are on OPT it is recommended that you not travel outside of the U.S. If you must travel and need to re-apply for an F-1 visa to return to the U.S. you must have your EAD Card with you as well as your SEVIS I-20 endorsed for OPT. It is strongly advised that you have a letter from your employer verifying your employment status and 2 or 3 pay stubs from your place of employment. Not only must you have a job offer but you should have already started the employment. Since these situations can be very problematic, it is recommended that you see your international advisor to discuss your situation ASAP.

 

For more information on renewing your F-1 visa go to:

http://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f3.htm


Also, check with the U.S. consulate or embassy in the country where you will be re-applying for the visa.
You may also visit http://www.usembassy.gov
 before leaving the U.S. to learn policy/procedures.