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New Visas and Visa Renewals

Your visa is your "ticket" into the United States. As an F-1 visa holder, your visa is issued for your "Duration of Status." This means that once you enter the United States, it is okay if your visa expires. However, your I-20 must remain valid while you are in the United States. If your visa expires while you are in the U.S., there is no need to renew it. You cannot renew your visa while inside the United States. However, if you leave the United States and plan to reenter, you must renew your visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.


If you are going to be a new international student at MSU Denver, please refer to the Admissions’ website to review the Visa and Immigration Information for getting your initial F-1 visa. This gives you detailed guidance about what to expect when you apply for your F-1 visa.

 

If you are a current international student at MSU Denver who needs to renew your visa in order to reenter the United States, please follow these steps:

  • Make an appointment with your the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to where you are traveling. Review the Department of State website for an estimated wait time for your visa appointment.
  • Visit the International Student Support Office located in the Student Academic Success Center (Suite 230 of the Student Success Building) in order to get your I-20 signed before travel. We highly recommend that your I-20 be signed within the last 6 months of your return date into the U.S. 
    • Please plan to get a travel signature a minimum of 2 weeks before you travel. Due to delays and busy times in the semester, it is possible that the International Student Support Coordinator will not be immediately available to sign your I-20.
    • Review additional travel recommendations in the Reentering the U.S. After International Travel section of this website.
  • In order to renew your visa, you will need the following documents. (You should also check with the embassy where you will visit to see if additional documents are required.)
    • Passport valid for at least six months after date of reentry into the U.S.
    • Signed I-20
    • Official MSU Denver transcripts
    • Financial documentation
    • Copies of all I-20s previously issued to you

 

If you are currently on OPT and need to renew your visa in order to renter the United States, you are still considered to be in F-1 status. This means that you will still need to renew your visa if you travel outside of the U.S. on an expired F-1 visa. To renew your F-1 visa, please follow these steps:

  • Make an appointment with your the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to where you are traveling. Check on the Department of State website for an estimated wait time for your visa appointment.
  • Visit the International Student Support Office in order to get your I-20 signed before travel. On OPT, your I-20 must have been signed within the last 6 months of your return date into the U.S. If you no longer live in Columbia, you can mail your I-20 to the International Student Support Office. Please allow adequate time for it to be mailed back to you.
  • In order to renew your visa, you will need the following documents. (You should also check with the embassy where you will visit to see if additional documents are required.)
    • Passport valid for at least six months after date of reentry into the U.S.
    • Signed I-20
    • Official MSU Denver transcripts
    • Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card)
    • Proof of Employment--pay stubs, offer letter, or letter of support
    • Copies of all I-20s previously issued to you

 

If you are a citizen of Canada, Bermuda, or another island adjacent to the United States, you do not need a visa to enter the U.S. However, you need to show your I-20 when you enter the United States. Be sure to pay and process the I-901 SEVIS fee before appearing at the U.S. Port of Entry. You cannot pay this fee at the Port of Entry. We recommend that you carry the I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt with you when you enter the United States or cross the U.S. border.


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