All non-immigrants in the US 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 US and also when applying for a visa. Students/scholars must contact their local embassy or consulate for instructions on renewing their passport.
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 US 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 US, 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 US 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 US embassy/consulate through the US 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.
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 US 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 US 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