UMD: A Globally Connected University

Renewing a Student Visa

Renewing your F-1 or J-1 Visa

If you are currently studying in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status and your visa is about to expire, please remember that you may remain legally in the United States with an expired visa because your I-94 card is marked D/S, which stands for Duration of Status. This means that you are eligible to remain in the U.S. until you either reach the end date on your I-20/DS-2019, or until the end of your academic program, whichever comes first. Your visa is simply an entry permit to get into the U.S.

However, if you are planning a trip outside of the United States and your visa is expired or about to expire, you will need to renew your F-1 or J-1 visa outside of the U.S. to be able to re-enter and resume your studies. It is not possible to renew your visa from within the U.S.

Steps for Renewing a Visa

Checklist for Visa Appointment

  • A completed visa application form (available at the Embassy's website)
  • Proof of payment of visa application fees
  • Current I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature
  • All previously issued I-20's or DS-2019's
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months or more into the future
  • Updated financial support documentation
  • Official transcripts*
  • Proof of current enrollment, available at the Student Services desk on the first floor of the Mitchell Building*
  • A letter verifying your full-time status from ISSS.*
  • Letter of support from your academic department*
  • Proof of home country ties, including but not limited to: proof of property ownership, bank accounts, significant family in your home country, a job offer in your home country upon completion of your U.S. studies (you may or may not be asked about this, but it is always good to be prepared)
  • For dependents applying for an F-2/J-2 visa: You should also bring your marriage certificate.

*Recommended but not required to take to your visa appointment