Renewing a Visa

Renewing a Visa

If your F-1 or J-1 visa has expired, you only need to obtain a new visa if you plan to travel outside of the U.S. and return to resume your studies or practical/academic training.

A visa is necessary for entry only. You will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy outside of the U.S., as it is not possible to renew an F-1 or J-1 visa from within the U.S. You will need to research the visa application and issuance procedures as they may have changed since you last obtained a visa.

To schedule an appointment for your visa interview, you should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad where you will be renewing your non-immigrant visa.

For your visa appointment you should prepare the following:


Valid at least 6 months into the future

Form I-20/DS-2019 with a Recent Travel Signature

Slater International Center recommends that you signature be no more than 6 months old when you are traveling to renew your visa.

Official Transcript

This can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Original funding documents

Either a personal bank statement or letter of funding from your sponsor. The original bank statement should be in your name or be accompanied by an original letter of support from the person whose name is on the statement. If Wellesley College is your funding source, it is recommended that you get a letter written on Wellesley letterhead that details your funding. If you have already paid tuition for next semester, you may wish to obtain a statement that indicates this from Student Financial Services. These documents should be less than one year old.

SEVIS Fee Receipt

You can redownload a copy of your I-901 Fee Receipt from the I-901 fee website by clicking "Check I-901 Status."

EAD Card (OPT only)

Although the card states "Not Valid For Re-entry," this only means that it cannot be used soley for entry to the U.S. (i.e. without a passport). You must present your EAD card when re-entering the U.S.

Proof of Employment (OPT only)

You must show proof that you have a job in the U.S. to which you will return. It is recommended that you provide a letter from your employer verifying that you are currently employed.

Form DS-157

Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Generally required of all male applicants between the ages of 16-45. Check with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy where you are applying for additional requirements


Application fee

Check with the Consulate for the current fee amount and how it must be paid. You can also find information on the Student Visa Page of Travel.State.Gov.


2 inches square [51 x 51mm], showing full face, without head covering or glasses, and against a light background. You can upload the photo as a part of the Form DS-160 application. If the upload fails, bring a printed one in the format descripted in the Department of State's Photo Requirements page. The photo must not be digitally altered.

Automatic Visa Revalidation: For Short Trips to Canada, Mexico or Adjacent Islands*

Students who are in valid immigration status are allowed to re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa if they travel to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands (excluding Cuba) for less than 30 days. Simply print a copy of your Form I-94 and carry it with you into Canada or Mexico. You can tell the border official that you are taking advantage of the "automatic visa revalidation” option available to F-1 and J-1 visa holders. To return to the U.S. you will need your signed Form I-20/Form DS-2019, and a valid passport. Currently, this benefit does not apply to citizens of Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

*Adjacent Islands: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miquelon, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Christopher, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Pierre, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks, Caicos Island and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions bordering on the Caribbean Sea.

To Apply for a Visa in Canada or Mexico

Third-country nationals (TCNs) may attempt to obtain a visa in Canada or Mexico. You can schedule an appointment online for both Canadian and Mexican Embassies. A major credit card is required to pay for the application fee. Additional information on the system can be obtained from the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Note: If you apply for and are denied a visa in Canada/Mexico, you may not re-enter the U.S. on the Automatic Visa Revalidation regulations. You will be required to travel elsewhere (most likely your home country) to apply for the U.S. visa before returning to the U.S.