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Ángela Castro's picture

Renewing My Visa in Bogotá, Colombia

Hola a todos,

As an international student I have to renew my visa in my home country every four years. Some countries require you to renew your visa every year. I know some people get confuse about documents, forms and so on. Here, you will find some useful information: 

1. If you plan to travel outside the United States: You will need the following documents in order to re-entering. Check our the info below

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid F-1 Entry Visa
  • Valid I-20 document
  • Valid re-entry signature on page 3 of I-20
  • Documentary evidence of funding
  • Evidence of full-time enrollment at the University (transcripts and Reduced Course Load forms)
  • EAD card and employment letter (for F-1s on post-completion OPT only)

2. Why do you need to renew your visa? If your F-1 entry visa has expired or if you do not have an F-1 entry visa, you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before you return (except Canadian citizens). To get a new visa you should:

  • Contact the U.S. Consulate and inquire about their visa application procedures. You may need to schedule an appointment and your visa may take more than a few weeks to process. Visit the U.S, State Department website for links to U.S. Consulates around the world. 
  • Ensure that you have proper documents. Present these documents to the U.S. consulate: valid passport, valid SEVIS I-20 with travel signature, evidence of funding, Reduced Course Load forms for any semester that you were not enrolled full-time, and transcript. Check the Embassy or consulate website to determine whether an official or unofficial transcript is required.
  • Be Aware of Security Clearance Checks. You may be subject to a security clearance check when you apply for a visa. 

3. Don't forget your valid I-20 Document: Go during walk-ins to the ISSS to request a new document if the information on your I-20 has expired. If your signature is no longer valid, you must request a new signature. 

4. If you need more information visit this page http://www.isss.umn.edu/fstudent/TravelOUS.html

Fun side of going back home to renew your visa: I know this trip can be stressful, nevertheless, it will give you the opportunity to visit your country, family, friends and great places that you haven't visited before. Here's a video I made for all of you - Bogotá is the protagonist: