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.
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.
Traveling with and F-1 or J-1 VisaAutomatic Revalidation of VisaVisa Waiver Program (VWP)International Center Transportation PolicyGetting Around Rock Hill and Charlotte
As a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa, you
are allowed to travel while studying in the United States. Most
students travel home over the summer and semester breaks, some have to
leave unexpectedly for family reasons. If you must leave the United
States while studying here there are several items to remember -
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The US State Department has a travel benefit called Automatic Revalidation of Visa that
allows F-1 and J-1 students to re-enter the United States after a
30-day or less visit to Canada, Mexico, and the "adjacent islands other
than Cuba" without having to obtain a new visa prior to re-entry.
Persons in F and J status who are maintaining their F and J status can
travel to Canada, Mexico and the "adjacent islands other than Cuba" for
30 days or less and re-enter the US showing their previous I-94 card, a
valid passport, and a valid form I-20 or DS-2019, plus an expired
If you travel using the Automatic Revalidation of Visa benefit, you must not give your current I-94 to the US official as you are leaving the US.
If you give your current I-94 to the official you will have to apply
for a new visa in the country you are visiting. The International
Center highly recommends that you print the Automatic Revalidation of
Visa rule and take this with you when you travel. You may need to show
the rule to the US official to explain not relinquishing your I-94 card.
It is important to remember
that if you apply for a new visa while in Canada, Mexico
or the "adjacent islands other than Cuba", the automatic revalidation
of visa will no longer apply. That means, if you apply for a new F or J
visa in Canada, you must receive a valid new visa before being able to
re-enter the US. If your application for a new visa is denied, you will
likely have to leave Canada and return to your home country to obtain a
new visa in order to return to the U.S. Also, citizens of Iraq, Iran,
Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for
the automatic revalidation of visa benefit.
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The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without
obtaining a visa. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they
prefer to do so. Not all countries participate in the VWP, and not all
travelers from VWP countries are eligible to use the program. VWP
travelers are required to apply for authorization though the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA),
are screened at their port of entry into the United States, and are
enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-Visit program.
Currently 36 countries participate in the
VWP, they are Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San
Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Generally, transit through the United States is permitted. To enter using the VWP,
Please visit the US Department of State for more information on the Visa Waiver Program.
The International Center
tries to make accommodations to pick up all new international students
as they arrive in Charlotte. The International Center also has a transportation policy for all continuing international students. If you have any questions about this policy contact the International Center.
If you need to get from place to place in
Rock Hill, Charlotte or the great beyond hopefully this information
will be helpful to you. Some students have cars and transportation to
different places is not that difficult to navigate. Others do not have
cars and find it much harder to get around. You can always ask your
friends for assistance but hopefully the information below will be
Winthrop University and Rock Hill are
very bicycle friendly areas. You can purchase a bicycle at any area
Wal-Mart or Target store. If you do not want to purchase your own
bicycle, the International Center has several bikes for international
student use. The bikes are available for a weekend or for a 24-hour
period. To reserve a bicycle please visit the International Center.
Local public transportation, frequently
referred to as "Dial-A-Ride," arranges for vehicles to pick-up and
drop-off passengers in and around Rock Hill. The operating schedule for
this service is Monday thru Friday from 6:00am to 6:00pm, with a one-way
fare costing $2.50. Riders who would like to use this service call
803/327-6694 ext. 304 at least two days in advance to reserve a seat.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is
Charlotte's public transit system. CATS has a stop in Rock Hill. This
stop is designed to help commuters get back and forth to Charlotte
during mornings and evenings but could be used if you needed to get to
Charlotte for the day. The Rock Hill Express runs both morning and
evening from Rock Hill to Charlotte, North Carolina. (Route 82 X Rock
There is a Greyhound bus
stop in Rock Hill 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) from the Winthrop campus.
Winthrop is 11 minutes south of the bus stop on Cherry Road. Call (803)
327-9388 for the local terminal or 1-800-231-2222 for Greyhound's fare
and schedule information.
Rail travel is available through Amtrak in
Charlotte, NC, 1914 N. Tryon Street which is approximately 25.8 miles
(41.4 kilometers) and 37 minutes from Winthrop. For schedule information
The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in
Charlotte, North Carolina is the closest major airport to Rock Hill. It
is 23.6 miles (37.9 kilometers) and approximately 35 minutes north of
the Winthrop Campus. Direct flights from Europe and Canada are
available. Ten major carriers offer daily flights. The carriers are -
If you have any questions or other good information about travel please contact the International Center.