8 CFR 214.2 (f) 4 Temporary Absence Detail procedural guidelines are not always defined in the regulations. The following are suggested procedures.
What the Student Does:
- Obtain a travel signature from a Designated School Official on current I-20 if it is still valid.
- If there have been significant changes in the I-20, request a new I-20.
- Make sure passport is still valid.
- Make sure I-94 card in still in passport.
- Check to see if F-1 entry visa is still valid.
If a new visa is needed:
- The visa is only an entry document in the US! It has no bearing on your legal status while studying in the US.
- F-1 entry visas cannot be obtained inside the U.S.
- Apply at an U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S. for the visa.
- If in Taiwan, go to the American Institute in Taiwan (in lieu of the Embassy).
- Contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for required documents and preferred application procedures. Many of the websites can be found at https://travel.state.gov/
- Generally speaking, the following documents are needed when obtaining a visa:
- A valid I-20
- A valid passport
- A valid I-94 card
- Proof of finances
- Old/previous I-20s
- Copy of transcript to verify full-time enrollment
- If applicable, I-797 Approval Notice of a change of status to F-1 (only for students who have completed a change of status while in US)
It is recommended to apply for a new visa in one's home country. Applications in a third country usually result in higher denial rates. However, in some circumstances, one may choose to apply in Canada or Mexico. If a third country national wishes to apply in Canada or Mexico, there are detailed procedures and appointments to make. They are outlined at https://travel.state.gov
Travel to Canada, Mexico, and Adjacent Islands
- Please see "Automatic Extension of Visa". Click here to go to the Automatic Extension of Visa page
Reprinted by permission of University of Kansas, International Student Services Office.