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International Center

Visa & Passport Renewal

Globe 2Visa Renewal

A Visa cannot be renewed within the US. 

You must travel outside the US to obtain a new visa.  You can travel to a country that is not your home country to apply for a new visa such as Canada or Mexico. 

It is very risky to apply for a visa outside of your home country.  If your visa is denied, you must return to your home country to apply for the visa again before being able to return to the US. 

Again, attempting to renew your visa in a "third-party" country is very risky and not recommended.

Both F-1 and J-1 visas have an expiration date listed on the visa. You can remain in the US with an expired visa as long as your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) forms are valid.  Think of your visa as a "ticket" that allows you entrance into the US.  If you travel outside the US with an expired visa you must apply for and obtain a new visa in order to return to the US. 

In order to study in the US, you must have a valid passport, valid Form I-20 and a visa.  The visa can be expired but the Form I-20 must be valid.

The US Department of State has a rule referred to as Automatic Revalidation of Visa that can be used to travel to Canda, Mexico, or the Caribbean islands other than Cuba.  Information on this rule can be found on the International Center Travel site.

Passport Renewal

A passport is a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country.

You must have a valid passport while studying in the United States. You can renew an expiring passport while in the United States.  If your passport is going to expire within six months, you can apply for and receive a new passport while in the US.  You should refer to your home country's Embassy in the US for information on how to renew your passport.

The International Center can help you with any questions that you may have about your visa or passport renewal.

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International Center
701 Oakland Avenue
218 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-2340 (fax)
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