Life University International Student Handbook - Page 7

Renewing F-1 Visas When you received your visa stamp inside your passport, an expiration date was also noted. If your visa expires while you are studying in the U.S., there is no need to renew it as long you are staying in the U.S. However, if you travel abroad, you must plan to renew it. If you fail to renew your visa while you are abroad, you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. It is NOT possible to renew your F-1 visa inside the U.S. You may renew your visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country to which you are traveling (preferably your home country because countries other than your own may impose stricter requirements, or may be unwilling to renew a visa for a citizen or resident of another country). You will need a new Form I-20 from Life University and updated financial documentation in order to renew your visa. If you want to visit Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean for less than 30 days and you are not a citizen of the country you intend to visit, you may be able to return to the U.S even with an expired visa as long as you are not a citizen of a country that is on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “watch list.” You must take with you all of the following: Valid passport (valid for at least six months into the future) Valid I-94 document (do not surrender it; explain to the immigration official that you will be returning in less than 30 days) Form I-20 properly endorsed by the Coordinator of International Programs or other designated school official. Evidence of return transportation arrangements (e.g., roundtrip tickets) Sufficient funds for your planned length of stay in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Evidence of F-1 status (as shown by the F-1 visa stamp and/or I-94 card) Keep in mind, however, that if you try to renew your visa in one of these neighboring countries and the renewal is denied you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. on the already expired F-1 visa. For more information on visas, please visit www.travel.state.gov. —5—