UMD: A Globally Connected University

Renewing a Student Visa

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.* (Request via iTerp>F-1 Student Services>Letter Request)
  • 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

Expediting your Visa

Students who are having trouble securing a visa appointment may be eligible for expedited/emergency visa appointment.

“Consular sections overseas may be able to expedite your interview date if there is an urgent, unforeseen situation such as a funeral, medical emergency, or school start date. The process to request an expedited nonimmigrant visa interview varies by location. You should refer to the instructions on the website of the Embassy or Consulate Visa Section  where you will interview, or on their online appointment scheduling site. You will need to provide proof of the need for an earlier appointment.”

Your I-20/DS2019 start date provides the necessary information you need to demonstrate your start date at UMD. Feel free to use our visa expidition letter if you feel it will assist your immigration case.