If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. while you are a student, you should check with International Students and Scholars to make sure that your immigration documents are in order.
Check your passport for your F-1 (student) visa. It is a full-page document issued by the U.S. consulate in your country. The visa has an “issue date” and a “expiry date.” If the expiry (expiration) date is before you plan to return to the U.S., you will have to obtain a new F-1 student visa.
The visa is a “ticket” to enter the U.S. and it must be valid at the time you enter. The visa does not give you permission to stay in the U.S.
Visas may only be renewed at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of the United States. It is best to renew an F-1 student visa in your home country. The visa process is complicated and consulates seem to be taking longer and longer to issue visas. In addition, it seems to be more and more difficult to obtain or renew visas. So, be sure to allow plenty of time (two weeks at least) to renew your visa.
To renew your visa, you will need the following items:
- A valid passport. You passport needs to be valid for at least six months past the planned re-entry date.
- Your I-20 form. The form must be endorsed and dated by a staff member of the ISS Office before your departure from Portland. If any information on the form is incorrect or changed (e.g. your major, fees, etc.), a new I -20 will have to be issued.
- A letter of good standing written by ISS.
- A transcript of all previous work at Lewis & Clark (and at other schools you have attended). You can obtain the Lewis & Clark transcript by following instructions on the Registrar Office’s website.
- Proof of pre-registration for the next semester. This is best obtained from the Registrar’s Office because it will have your name on it. Pre-registration forms from WebAdvisor do NOT list your name.
- Proof of financial support. This can include:
- A “zero balance statement” from Student and Departmental Account Services. Ask for a “zero balance statement” which shows you have paid your tuition and all expenses “in full.”
- Recent bank account records. This can include checking and savings account records. It is best to have several months of records from your account rather than just one.
- A copy of your financial aid award letter, if you receive aid.
- A copy of any scholarship award letter, if applicable.
- An affidavit of support of banks statements and letters from your financial sponsor(s).