You should keep your passport valid at all times. Your passport is your own government’s permit for you to leave and re-enter your own country. Most passports contain an expiration date. Consult your own consulate or embassy in the U.S. to renew your passport. Passports must have a minimum of 6 months validity to reenter the U.S.
COVID-19 update: Since the pandemic, there have been delays in passport renewal services around the world. Make sure to provide the DGE with proof that you have requested passport renewal before your passport expires. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org proof fthat you have requested a renewal of your passport from your country's embassy in the U.S.
F-1 Visa Renewal
International students in the U.S. are generally admitted under the F-1 student visa classification. Under special circumstances, international students may also be admitted on J-1 sponsored student visa. Those who petition for F-1 or J-1 visas are admitted as a non-immigrants, and are granted temporary stays in the U.S. In order to apply for the F-1 visa, the prospective student must receive a SEVIS I-20.
Please note that under current USCIS regulations, you may remain in the U.S. with an expired F-1 visa, as long, as your I-20 is valid and you are maintaining your student status (enrolled full-time).
Your F-1 visa needs to be valid for entry to the U.S. but can expire during your enrollment at UL Lafayette if you stay in the U.S. If you are studying full-time at UL Lafayette with a valid F-1 status, you do NOT need to renew your F-1 visa while you are in the U.S. You only need to renew your F-1 visa if you plan to travel outside of the U.S. and return to the U.S. to study. If your F-1 visa expires before you travel outside of the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S. We strongly recommend that you renew your F-1 visa before completing your degree program as it will be very difficult to apply for a student visa once you have completed your program.
Please note that F-1 visas cannot be renewed from within the U.S. Additionally, our office will not approve travel to renew an F-1 visa during the Fall or Spring semester. Students renewing visas must travel home during Summer or semester breaks to renew student visas.
Process to Renew your U.S. Visa in a Country Other than Your Home Country (in a country where you DO NOT hold citizenship)
Although it is possible for a student to obtain an F-1 visa in a country other than his or her own, the student may face more stringent requirements than in the home country. In addition to proving eligibility for an F-1 visa, students from countries with U.S. Embassies will have to convince the consular officer that there is a legitimate reason for making the application outside the home country. In some instances, the consular officer in the third country will find it necessary to check with the consular office in the student's place of residence. This can be time-consuming and can even result in denials. If you plan to apply for a visa in a 3rd country, please make travel plans to allow for such delays.
The U.S. Department of State also provides further information on the Visa Renewal process.