Student Visa Renewal

Contrary to popular understanding, a valid student visa is not required for legal stay within the United States. However, nonimmigrants who are traveling outside the US will need a valid visa for reentry. Visas may only be renewed from outside the US and are best renewed from a student’s home country.

International Students traveling outside the United States will need to make sure their F-1 or J-1 visas are valid prior to reentering the US. When requesting a Travel Signature on their I-20 or DS-2019, a student can indicate whether they will renew their visa while outside the US and will then receive a visa support letter along with their travel signature. 

The following documentation is recommended for a visa interview:

  • Transcript showing registration from prior semesters
  • Proof of registration for upcoming or current semester
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt, available at
  • Recent tuition payment receipt
  • Documentation of financial support
  • Optional – Visa renewal letter from International Student Services, issued with travel signature