International Student Center

Re-validating/Renewing Your F-1 Visa

You are permitted to remain in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your international student status. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States and your visa has expired, you must renew your visa in your home country, or a contiguous territory. Please note that there are challenges with revalidating your visa in this manner. It is recommended that you revalidate your visa only in your home country, so that you will have a valid visa to re-enter the United States.

Ensure that you have all the documentation you need for your visa application and allow sufficient time for processing a new visa. The documentation you may need for a new visa includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Original evidence showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
  • Documentation that you have been a full time student at BCC. You can get this by requesting an official transcript from BCC.
  • Evidence of your registration for your current semester, or the following semester.
  • Evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion, including evidence of compelling social and economic ties to your home country.
  • If you have had optional practical training (OPT) approved, bring a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT, your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, and a letter of hire/employment from your direct supervisor.

The Department of State recommends that you apply for a visa in your home country. For more information about visa applications visit the Department of State website. If your visa has expired, we strongly recommend you only apply for renewal in your home country.

For those who have changed status within the USA:

Though you have obtained F-1 Status, you have a different visa in your passport. As long as you remain in the United States studying and maintaining your status, you do not need to obtain an F-1 visa in your passport. However, if you leave the United States, you will need to return to your home country to obtain an F-1 visa.

Please know that there is a chance that your F-1 visa could be denied. It is a risk to travel. If this is your situation, and you must return home, please make an appointment with an International Student Counselor for advice on what documents you should bring to your consulate in your home country.