50 Acacia Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901-2298
In order to re-enter the United States after a temporary absence (less than 5 months), students must carry the following documents:
Dominican F-1 Students: Please submit an I-20 Travel Signature Request Form along with the original I-20 to GEO. The I-20 will be ready for pick up in 5 business days.
F-1 Students on OPT must carry the following documents:
Students whose absence from the U.S. will be longer than 5 months must meet with Vaolele Stawiarski, DSO: Renewing YOur Passport or Student Visa
All non-immigrants in the United States must maintain a valid passport at all times. Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future when entering and re-entering the United States and also when applying for a visa. Students must contact the local embassy or consulate of their home country for instructions on renewing their passport.
Students whose expired passport has a valid visa are still able to use that visa if they have the old passport. Students must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.
Students are able to stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as they are properly maintaining their status by being in possession of a valid I-20 and valid I-94 card. However, if students are traveling, they must have a valid visa in order to re-enter the United States.
Visas cannot be renewed inside the United States. Once students have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, they should review the Embassy or Consulate’s website for details on the visa renewal process including required documents.
Students are also able to check on visa wait times for a specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the U.S. Department of State website.
The Department of State recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country.
Students who must apply for a visa in a third country must remember the following:
This regulation of Automatic Revalidation provides that, under certain circumstances, a person with an expired F-1 visa in their passport can re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and "adjacent islands" (except Cuba) with an expired nonimmigrant visa. The absence outside the United States cannot exceed 30 days and the I-94 card must remain valid.
To re-enter the United States under the benefit of automatic revalidation of visa, students must meet the following requirements:
IMPORTANT: Students must retain and be in possession of their current I-94 (arrival/departure record) card when leaving the United States to ensure successful re-entry back to the United States.
Citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for the automatic revalidation benefit and would be required to have a valid visa for re-entry.
Students who are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean by cruise ship must contact the cruise line before purchasing the cruise package to confirm they will recognize automatic revalidation and allow them to travel outside the U.S. without a valid F-1 visa.
Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Dutch territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea [Reference INA, Section 101(b)(5)].
For more information, please review the Revised Regulation on Automatic Revalidation.