Visa application and issuance procedures change on a regular basis. F-1 and J-1 students should research the most updated procedures when starting to think about renewing a student visa.
Consular Policies and Procedures
Most U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites offer information on these visa application and issuance procedures; however, some websites may not have been updated to reflect recent changes. The most current information can be obtained by contacting the consular office where the F-1 or J-1 student would like to apply for a visa.
Applying in a Country Where You Are Not a Citizen
F-1 and J-1 students wanting to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate in a country that is not their country of citizenship should contact the consulate to confirm that the consulate will accept and consider their application. Additionally, F-1 and J-1 students should inquire about how long it will take for the visa issuance, if approved.
In general, it is recommended to apply for a visa from your home country, when possible. Applying for a visa in a third country may result in additional background checks or delays in visa processing. It is important to ensure that you are able to remain legally in the country where you are applying for your visa while your case is being adjudicated by the consulate.
Find out how long it will take to get a visa application appointment at a U.S. Consulate.
Required Application Documents
To renew your F-1 visa, you will need to submit certain documents to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (forms can be downloaded or obtained from any U.S. Consulate). Please check specific requirements on the website of the embassy where you will apply for your visa.
Preparations before you leave the U.S.
- USCIS Form I-20 - You need to request a travel signature from the ISSS if you do not already have one, or if you have a travel signature that will be more than six months old at the time you wish to return to the U.S.
- Drexel Certification of Enrollment– Request a support letter which will also verify that you are a full-time student at Drexel University.
- Please visit the Verify Enrollment page for instructions.
- Financial Documents - If the documents that prove you have sufficient funds to support your education in the U.S. will be more than twelve months old at the time you apply for a new visa, we suggest that you arrange for new financial documents to be submitted with your visa application. If all or any part of your funding comes from Drexel University (e.g., scholarship, teaching fellowship, research assistantship), we recommend that you obtain a letter or document verifying the validity and amount of the award, preferably for the semester or academic year when you will return to the U.S. to resume your studies. If all or any part of your funding comes from other sources (e.g., family funds, government scholarship, loan), we suggest that you obtain a letter or document verifying the amount and availability of funding, preferably for the quarter or academic year when you will return to the U.S. to resume your studies.
RE-ENTRY U.S. with an expired Visa: The ‘Automatic Visa Revalidation’ Program
F-1-specific visa application instructions are available on the Department of State website. J-1-specific visa application instructions are available on the Department of State website.
Please review our travel webpage for information regarding the requirements needed for your re-entry to the U.S.
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Visit during office hours to drop off/pick up documents or to request a travel signature.
Virtual Advising Hours
Mondays and Tuesdays: 2–4 p.m.
Fridays: 9:30–11:30 a.m.