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F-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


When must I renew my F-1 visa?

You must renew your F-1 visa if you decide to travel outside the U.S. and your current F-1 visa will expire before you re-enter the U.S. to continue your program. If this is the case, you will need to apply for another F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Students traveling to Mexico, Canada and islands adjacent to the U.S. (except Cuba) for less than 30 days are not required to have a current F-1 visa in their passport in order to re-enter as their visa gets automatically revalidated at the border.


What documents will prove my intent to return to my home country after the completion of my studies?

While there is no set documentation to indicate your intent to return to your home country, your application for an F-1 visa will more likely be approved if you maintain closer ties to your home country than to the U.S. which can be shown in the following ways:

  • Your immediate family members reside in your home country
  • You own property and or maintain a bank account in your home country
  • The likelihood of employment at home in your field of study after you complete your degree is great. (Provide evidence of job searches or interviews you have done)
  • You have made frequent visits home (every year or 18 months)
  • You have maintained membership in cultural organizations at home while you have studied in the U.S.
  • You have maintained important social ties in your home country

Studying In The U.S. - F, M, and J Visa Options

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Can I apply for F-1 visa in a country other than my home country?

Yes, you may apply for a F-1 visa in a 'third country' other than your home country, unless you are subject to the 'visa overstay' provisions of the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA).

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