Renewing Your Visa


When you initially received the visa stamp in your passport, an expiration date was noted. If your entry visa expires while you are studying in the U.S., there is no need to renew it as long as you stay in the U.S. However, if your entry visa has expired and you wish to travel abroad, you must renew your visa no matter how short a trip you are taking (with a few exceptions – see Travel to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands link).

It is not possible to complete this procedure inside the U.S. if you are in F or J status. It is best to apply for the student visa in your home country.  Theoretically, you may renew your visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in any country to which you are traveling, but countries other than your home country may impose stricter requirements or be unwilling to renew a visa for a citizen or resident of another country, so it is assuming risk. The recommended practice is to renew your visa in your home country. 

Documents required for visa renewal:

  • A valid passport.
  • A valid, recently signed Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS-2019 (J-1).
  • Two current passport-sized photographs.
  • Financial documentation issued within the past 6 months, showing your ability to pay for your education and living expenses.

It is also recommended to have the following documents:

  • Current registration at Pace (PacePortal)
  • Transcripts (PacePortal).
  • Bills paid to Pace (PacePortal)
  • All original I-20’s or DS-2019’s (including previously issued)
  • Letter of support for Visa Renewal from the ISSO

 For questions concerning visa renewal while on authorized OPT, consult with the ISSO.