F-1 Visa Regulations
How can I renew my visa?
If your visa is expired or about to expire and you are traveling out of the U.S., you will need to renew your visa. The items on this checklist are suggested preparations. These documents do not guarantee that you will be granted a visa. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy where you will apply for specific instructions.
STEP ONE: Before you return to your home country
1. Register full-time for next semester
2. Pay tuition fees in full, OR request a fee deferral if you cannot pay in full at this time
3. Request an official SBCC transcript or verification of enrollment letter from Admissions & Records
4. Request a travel signature from your Advisor at the International Office
STEP TWO: Check the U.S. Embassy website in your home country for specific instructions about the requirements and procedures to renew the F-1 visa. If you do not know the website, you can find it here.
STEP THREE: Complete the Online Visa Application Form (DS-160)
1. Link to the application here
2. Pay the visa application fee and attach your payment receipt to your DS-160 confirmation page
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
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.