Renewing an F-1/J-1 Visa

If your F-1 or J-1 visa has expired, you only need to obtain a new visa if you plan to travel outside of the U.S. and return to resume your studies or practical/academic training. The process is very similar to when you may have originally applied for an F-1 or J-1 visa before your program of study.

  You can only apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate/embassy outside the U.S. 

 At a glance Duration Green   Plan ahead! Review appointment wait times.

Find Your Focus   Review specific instructions for the F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa process. 

  It is recommended for students to review our visa interview tips.

Documents generally required for a visa renewal:

  • Passport — valid at least six months into the future
  • Valid Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 — with recent travel signature 
  • Current transcript or enrollment letter — available from the Registrar’s Office
  • Original funding documents — personal bank statement or letter of financial support from your sponsor. The original bank statement should be in your name or be accompanied by an original letter of support from the person whose name is on the statement. If Babson College is your funding source, it is recommended that you get a letter written on Babson letterhead that details your funding. If you have already paid tuition for next semester, you may wish to obtain a statement from Student Financial Services which verifies this. All financial documents should be less than one year old.
  • Proof of non-immigrant intent — evidence you intend to return home upon the completion of your studies. Review our tips.
  • Proof of SEVIS Fee payment — you do not pay the SEVIS fee again for a visa renewal, but must have proof of payment. For details, visit: 
  • Completed visa application (Form DS-160)  — view information available on the DOS website. You typically must complete the Form DS-160 before you can schedule an appointment.
    • Visa application fee(s) — check with the U.S. consulate/ embassy for the current fee amount(s) and payment instructions
    • Photograph(s) — for the prescribed format, visit

F-1 students engaged in post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) also require a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD); proof of current employment or a job offer letter; and valid Form I-20 with a current travel signature (less than six months old on the date of entry).

J-1 students engaged in post-completion Academic Training also require an Academic Training letter from an International Student Advisor; proof of current employment; and valid Form DS-2019 with a current travel signature (less than six months old on the date of entry).

Applying for a Visa in Canada or Mexico

A citizen of a country other than that in which they will apply for a U.S. visa is called a third-country national (TCN). Third-country nationals (TCNs) may attempt to obtain a visa in Canada or Mexico. Detailed information is available through the Department of State

Note: If you apply for and are denied a visa in Canada/Mexico, you may not re-enter the U.S. on the Automatic Visa Revalidation regulations. You will be required to travel elsewhere (most likely your home country) to apply for the U.S. visa before returning to the U.S.

Note: U.S. embassies and consulates along the U.S. border cannot accept applications from nationals of countries designated by DOS as state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan.