Renewing Passport

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/scholars must contact their local embassy or consulate for instructions on renewing their passport. This requirement doesn’t apply to Canadian nationals.

Students/scholars whose expired passport has a valid visa are still able to use that visa if they have the old passport.  Students/scholars must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.

Renewing F/J Visa

Students/scholars may stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1/J-1 visa as long as they maintain their immigration status by being in possession of a valid I-20/DS-2019 and an I-94 Arrival/Departure record.  If students/scholars are traveling and will not use automatic revalidation to re-enter the U.S., they must have a valid visa.

Visas cannot be renewed inside the U.S.  Once students/scholars have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. embassy/consulate abroad, they should review the embassy/consulate’s website for details on the visa renewal process including required documents.  Students/scholars are also able to check on the visa wait times for a specific U.S. embassy/consulate through the U.S. Department of State website. Due to security checks, the period of Winter/Spring Break may not be long enough to receive clearance AND a renewed visa to come back for the first day of classes. If you have any problems, please contact OIS.

Given the high demand for appointments at most U.S. consulates and embassies, schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Check with the consulate or embassy where you will complete your visa renewal to confirm document requirements. Certain applicants may qualify for a waiver of the in-person interview, and the consulate will confirm whether you meet the specific criteria for an interview waiver.

The Department of State recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country. Students/scholars who must apply for a visa in a third country must remember the following:

  • Students/scholars cannot return to the U.S. until their visa has been issued
  • If a background check is required, students/scholars must wait until this is cleared and the wait could be several weeks
  • If the visa application is denied, students/scholars 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/scholars who plan to renew their visa in Mexico should review OIS’ guidelines on the visa renewal process in Mexico