INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE

F1 VISA

F-1 Entry Visa Stamp Has Expired
F-1 Visa Application in Country Other than Home Country

(does not include Canada or Mexico)

Tourist Visa for Third Country

Students must determine if they will need a tourist visa to enter a country that is not their home country. Contact the country’s consulate or embassy in the U.S. to inquire about their government’s visa requirements. It may take a few weeks to obtain a tourist visa so students are advised to look into this matter well ahead of their intended departure date.

F-1 Entry Visa Stamp

U.S. entry visa stamps are issued by a United States embassy or consulate and must be valid for reentry from overseas. Students intending to enter the U.S. as an F-1 visa holder must have a valid F-1 entry visa stamp in their passport. It is not possible to renew an F-1 entry visa stamp in the United States. Students who have "overstayed" a visa in the U.S. are not eligible to apply for a US entry visa stamp in a third country.

Application for an F-1 Entry Visa Stamp

There may be significant delays before a visa application is approved. Applications should be submitted to the U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as possible. Many U.S. embassies/consulates require pre-arranged appointments. Students are advised to check the embassy/consulate web site or contact the post directly for information on scheduling. Access embassy/consulate information.

Security Clearance

Security Clearance screening is triggered by nationality, country of citizenship, countries visited in the past and the field of study or expertise. The Security Clearance will minimally take 20 days and may take as long as 6 months. An expedite request is not possible in implementing Security Clearances. A record created in SEVIS will not preclude the possibility of a Security Clearance.

Supplemental Form Now Required for NIV Applications

The Department of State has created a supplemental form (DS-157) to accompany the Non-Immigrant Visa Application form (DS-156). LDLS-157 must be completed by all male NIV applicants between the ages of 16 and 45 regardless of nationality and regardless of the country where the application is submitted.

For an F non-immigrant visa application, the embassy/consulate will minimally require:

  • a SEVIS-generated I-20 that accurately reflects the degree program, major, and financial resources and contains a valid reentry signature on page 3
  • documentary evidence of the financial resources
  • reason for being in third country
  • a transcript from each school attended in the U.S.
  • evidence of a student’s intent to return home upon the completion of studies in the U.S.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if authorized Optional Practical Training
  • student may also want to present a letter from his/her academic adviser that states s/he has maintained good progress in the program of study, etc.
  • There are no guarantees that a student will be successful in obtaining an entry visa stamp, even if the student had previously been successful in securing an entry visa. The risk of denial is higher if:
  • student has violated his/her legal status
  • student has overstayed a visa (students are not eligible to apply for a visa in a third country if they have overstayed)
  • student is authorized post-completion Optional Practical Training
  • student is making a visa application in a country other than home country

CAUTION: A visa application denial is highly likely and the Office of International Student Affairs advises students not to depart the U.S. under the following circumstances:

  • student is engaged to or married to a U.S. citizen
  • student has a petition filed for permanent residence
  • student has close family members (parents, siblings) who hold permanent residence

Applying for a SEVIS I-20

F-1 students who currently possess a SEVIS I-20 should insure that the document has a valid reentry signature on page 3. If the information on the document remains accurate, the student can use the document in the visa application process. F-1 students pursuing a program of study at Buffalo State who do not possess a SEVIS I-20 will need to request the document from the Office of International Student Affairs.Submit to the Office of International Student Affairs:

  • Financial Certification Statement
    (for Graduate School Students Only)
  • Transmittal Form Completed by the Graduate School
    (for Graduate School students who are changing degree programs – not required if student is continuing same program)
  • Financial Certification Statement
    (for Undergraduate, Non-Degree Seeking & Professional School Students)
  • International Student Payroll Verification Letter, if employed on campus (download required format)
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Passport
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if authorized Optional Practical Training

Exception from a Full Course of Study Form(s), if needed. Note: Undergraduate and first year graduate students must submit Exception forms to the Office of International Student Affairs.

Reentry into the U.S.

Present to U.S. Inspection the SEVIS I-20, documentary evidence of funding and the passport with the new entry visa stamp. The Office of International Student Affairs recommends that students carry all previously issued I-20’s in the event they are asked to document their F-1 history.