Before You Travel Outside of the U.S....

...Don't forget to review ISSO's Travel Information so you can best prepare yourself for your travels and to avoid unnecessary travel complications!

Renewing Your U.S. Visa

To enter the U.S., all international students, with the exception of those from Canada, must have a valid visa upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry.  To renew your visa, you must contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to make arrangements for your visa renewal appointment. 

You must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate while abroad. You are not able to obtain a new visa from within the U.S.

Recommended Documentation for Renewing Your U.S. Visa

The ISSO recommends that you have the following documents when appearing for your visa renewal appointment:

Valid Passport (which is not due to expire for at least 6 months)

Copies of all your I-20s or DS-2019s

Enrollment Verification Letter  

Financial documents which provide proof of sufficient funds as specified on your I-20 / DS-2019

  • If you are receiving funding from Brandeis, make sure to obtain an up to date letter from Student Financial Services or your department which specifies your scholarship, fellowship, loan or financial assistance.
  • Bank statements provided to the embassy officials must be original documents. 
  • Any bank statement other than your personal account, must be accompanied by a signed sponsorship letter from the bank account holder. 
Be prepared to answer questions regarding your plans for returning home after completion of your program.  The embassy official may want to know about your plans for returning home after graduation.

Once you are in the U.S. and have  been granted your F-1 or J-1 status, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain that status regardless of the expiration date on your entry visa stamp.  In other words, if you do not plan on traveling in and out of the U.S. for the duration of your F-1 or J-1 status, you will not have to renew the visa stamp.

Applying for a New U.S. Visa in a Country Other Than Your Home Country

The chances of being denied a visa when you apply in a country not your own are quite high.  Once the visa request is denied, the student has no choice other than to return home to apply for a renewed visa. 

As such, the ISSO recommends that international students seeking to renew their visa do so in their home country.