31. When must I renew my F-1 visa?
You must renew your F-1 visa if you decide to travel outside the U.S. and your current F-1 visa will expire before you re-enter the U.S. to continue your program. If this is the case, you will need to apply for another F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Students traveling to Mexico, Canada and islands adjacent to the U.S. (except Cuba) for less than 30 days are not required to have a current F-1 visa in their passport in order to re-enter as their visa gets automatically revalidated at the border.
32. What documents will prove my intent to return to my home country after the completion of my studies?
While there is no set documentation to indicate your intent to return to your home country, your application for an F-1 visa will more likely be approved if you maintain closer ties to your home country than to the U.S. which can be shown in the following ways:
- Your immediate family members reside in your home country
- You own property and or maintain a bank account in your home country
- The likelihood of employment at home in your field of study after you complete your degree is great. (Provide evidence of job searches or interviews you have done)
- You have made frequent visits home (every year or 18 months)
- You have maintained membership in cultural organizations at home while you have studied in the U.S.
- You have maintained important social ties in your home country
33. Can I apply for F-1 visa in a country other than my home country?
Yes, you may apply for a F-1 visa in a ‘third country’ other than your home country, unless you are subject to the ‘visa overstay’ provisions of the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA).
34. In what situations can my F-1 visa be denied?
Your F-1 visa application may be denied if:
- You intend to make an application in a ‘third country’ (e.g., you are from P.R. China, but you intend to go to Canada to obtain an F-1 visa)
- This is your first application for an F-1 visa
- You are returning home after a long stay in the U.S. (Three or more years)
- There is a serious political or economic crisis in your home country
- You are engaged in practical training after the completion of your academic program
- You have limited time to obtain your visa. (Your visit will only be for a short period of time)
- You are waiting for the results of an application for permanent residency (immigrant status) or you are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
35. What can I do if my visa request is denied?
If your visa application is denied, before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, obtain an explanation of the specific reason you are denied the visa and ask about re-application procedures. Also, try to obtain the full name of the officer who interviewed you, as well as her or his fax number. The International Student and Scholar Office at the school you attend or plan to attend may be able to help you, if you can provide this information.