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F-1 Visa Regulations

Common questions about the F-1 Visa regulations

What do I do if my passport is going to expire?
My I-20 is expiring soon, but I need more time to complete my studies. What should I do?
I finished ESL level 5. Do I need to change my I-20?
If my visa is damaged, do I have to apply for a new one?
How can I renew my visa?
I am leaving the U.S. Do I have to do anything with my visa?



What do I do if my passport is going to expire?

What do I do if my passport is going to expire?


All F-1 visa students must have a valid passport at all times. If your passport is going to expire or is expired, please refer to the list of Consulates in the United States. Find your consulate, contact their office, and begin the process of renewing your passport.

You will also need to bring to the International Student Office any documentation the consulate gives you regarding your passport renewal.


List of U.S.Consulate offices
Form I-20 is pictured

My I-20 is expiring soon, but I need more time to complete my studies. What should I do?

To apply for an extension of your I-20, gather and complete the list of required documents listed here and make an appointment with your International Student Advisor. I-20 extensions must be completed >b>before your I-20 expires!

1. Financial Statement form signed by student and sponsor
2. Official, original bank statement or government funding letter
3. Student Educational Plan (SEP)- To obtain an updated SEP, see an Academic Counselor
4. Read and sign the F-1 Status Student Responsibilities form
5. Current I-20, visa, passport, and I-94 card (the I-94 is the white card in your passport)

To make an appointment with an Academic Counselor or your Advisor, call 805-730-4040


F-1 Status Student Responsibilities form

I finished ESL level 5. Do I need to change my I-20?

If you complete ESL level 5 and have an English Language Training I-20, you need to apply for a new I-20 by completing these requirements:

1. Register for PD 149
2. Student Educational Plan (SEP) - obtained in PD 149
3. Financial Statement form signed by student and sponsor
4. Official, original bank statement or government funding letter
5. Read and sign the F-1 Status Student Responsibilities form
6. Current I-20, visa, passport, and I-94 card (the I-94 is the white card in your passport)

Once you gather all of the required documents, make an appointment with your Advisor by calling (805) 730-4040



If my visa is damaged, do I have to apply for a new one?

If your visa is damaged in some way, such as water damage, it is automatically considered invalid by U.S. port-of-entry officials even if your data and picture are still legible. You must apply for a new visa the next time you travel outside of the U.S. if you are planning to come back to continue your studies.



I am renewing my visa. How can I show my SBCC grades and/or enrollment status?

If you need to apply for or renew your visa the next time you travel to your home country, you will need to show the visa official proof of your student status.

If you are in your first semester at SBCC AND you are traveling during winter break, you can prove your enrollment status by following these instructions. Your fall semester grades will not be posted until January.
To request proof of your full-time enrollment at SBCC, follow these simple steps:

First, check your Pipeline account to confirm that you are currently enrolled full-time (at least 12 credits). You should also check for any holds that may be on your account. You must be enrolled full-time and clear any holds before placing your request.


To obtain verification of full-time enrollment:

1. Make sure you are registered for at least 12 credits in the semester you need
verification for
(Waitlisted classes will not count towards 12 credits)

2. Fill out and print the "Authorization for Release of Information" form (see link below)

3. Print a copy of your Student Schedule/Bill

4. Submit the Authorization form and your Schedule at the Admissions & Records Office in
the Student Services building. Take your Student ID card or passport or California
driver's lisence/ID card with you.

**If you are in your home country or out of the Santa Barbara area, you may submit your request via e-mail. E-mail everything including a copy of your passport to Agatha Louie: louie@sbcc.edu

REQUESTS ARE PROCESSED IN 5-7 BUSINESS DAYS

You may print verification of your enrollment for past semesters and current semester if the Withdrawal Deadline has passed:

1. Login to Pipeline and click on "Student Records" in the menu on the right

2. Click on "Enrollment Verification", then click on "Enrollment Verification" again

4. A new window called "Clearinghouse Student Self-Service" will open. Under the first
option "Obtain an enrollment certificate" choose one: "Current enrollment" or
"All enrollment". Once you make your selection, click on "Obtain an enrollment
certificate" and print.

If you are a continuing student OR if it is your first semester and you are traveling in summer you need to order an official SBCC transcript:
To request an official SBCC transcript of your courses and grades:

1. Register in at least 12 credits for the upcoming semester
(Waitlisted classes will not count towards 12 credits)

2. Order your transcript in Pipeline: Login, Click on 'Student Records', Select 'Order
Official Transcripts' to start your order


Authorization for Release of Information »

How do I close my F-1 Visa record if I am leaving the U.S.?


If you will not continue at SBCC, e-mail a copy of your flight itinerary to your International Student Advisor, showing the date of your departure from the U.S.

F-1 Visa regulations direct students to depart the U.S. within 15 days of their last session if they are not completing an Associate degree or ESL Certificate. Students who have completed a degree or ESL Certificate are eligible to stay in the U.S. for up to 60 days after their last session.



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