Your F-1 visa in your passport issued at the U.S. Consulate is your permission to request entry to the United States and obtain F-1 student status while you are pursuing an education at a college or university. The F-1 visa will generally give you the following entries to the United States:
If your F-1 visa expires while you are pursuing an education in the United States and your form I-20 and I-94 are valid, you are not required to return home to renew your visa. Your immigration status in the U.S. remains valid as long as your I-20 is up to date.
If your F-1 visa has expired and you leave the United States, you will be required to obtain a new visa before returning.
Always contact ISSS before you travel outside of the United States for any purpose. We want to make sure you are fully aware of the regulations tied to the F-1 visa type. Please note that you cannot renew your F-1 visa within the United States but the international office can assist you with renewing your visa in a country other than your own if you qualify.
Your form I-20 which was issued by International Student and Scholar Services and which you presented at the U.S. consulate abroad must be valid and show correct information, including:
We recommend that you keep all of your I-20s issued at all schools you’ve attended because you may need them in the future, especially if you intend to apply for other immigration benefits.
The expiration date on your I-20 (indicated under Program of Study) is the date that your program of study in the United States ends. However, you have 60 days beyond that date before you are required to leave the United States. You may use this 60-day period to prepare for your departure, travel in the United State, pursue another degree, or change your status to another category.
You are not permitted to engage in employment of any kind during this time period. You will not be permitted to re-enter the United States if you travel outside its borders after the date listed on Form I-20, even if it falls within this 60-day period.