All non-immigrants in the U.S. are required to maintain a valid passport at all times. Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future when entering and re-entering the U.S. and also when applying for a visa. Students must contact their local embassy or consulate for instructions on renewing their passport.
Students whose expired passport has a valid visa are still able to use that visa if they have the old passport. Students must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.
Renewing Student Visa
Students may stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1/J-1 visa as long as they are properly maintaining their status by being in possession of a valid I-20/DS-2019 and an I-94 Arrival/Departure record. If students are traveling and do not plan on using automatic revalidation to re-enter the U.S., they must have a valid visa.
Visas cannot be renewed inside the U.S. Once students have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, they should review the Embassy or Consulate’s website for details on the visa renewal process including required documents. Students are also able to check on the visa wait times for a specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the U.S. Department of State website.
The Department of State recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country. Students who must apply for a visa in a third country must remember the following:
- Students cannot return to the U.S. until their visa has been issued.
- If a background check is required, students must wait until this is cleared and the wait could be several weeks.
- If the visa application is denied, students will not be able to return to the U.S. and will be required to return to their home country.
- If the visa application is denied in Canada or Mexico, Automatic Revalidation does not apply.
- Students who plan to renew their visa in Mexico should review OIS’ guidelines on the visa renewal process in Mexico.