If your F-1 visa has expired, but you have a valid I-20, you can stay in the U.S. until the end of your academic program. If you travel internationally with an expired F-1 visa, you will need to apply for another visa before returning to the U.S. to resume studying.
How to Apply for a New F-1 Visa
To apply for another F-1 visa, you will need to submit a new application and attend a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. It is not possible to renew your F-1 visa while in the U.S. You can complete the visa application and schedule an appointment while in the U.S., but you must go abroad for the interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Complete the DS-160 visa application and pay the application fee ($160 USD)
- Schedule an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad
- Attend the visa interview and submit the required documents
- Valid passport with 2-3 blank pages
- Valid I-20
- DS-160 confirmation page
- SEVIS fee receipt
- You do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again, you only need proof that it has been paid
- Reprint your SEVIS fee receipt if necessary
- Unofficial transcripts
- Letter of enrollment
- You can request this from the Registrar's Office
- Financial documents
- Academic and/or athletic scholarship information, personal or sponsor bank statements, educational loan information, etc.
- There is no minimum amount required, however having proof of financial ability is important to the visa application process
Applying for a New Visa While on OPT
Applying for a new visa while on OPT is no different than the steps listed above, however you will need to bring some additional documentation to the interview:
- Valid EAD card or I-797 Approval Notice or I-797C Notice of Action
- Job offer letter or contract, if available