Office of the University Registrar

November 3, 2020

F-1 Visa

Image of sample F-1 visa

Sample F-1 visa

First Student Visa

You need an F-1 visa in your passport to enter the U.S. as a student.
(exception: citizens of Canada see bottom of page)

Your visa is *not* your permission to stay in U.S. After you enter the U.S. to start your studies, it is okay for the visa to expire.

The visa is a travel document. Your length of stay in the U.S. is controlled by your I-20’s end date — *not* your visa expiration.

Future International Travel and Expired Visas

If your visa is expired, and you exit the U.S., you will need to get a new F-1 visa before re-entry. New F-1 visas can only be issued at a U.S. consulate outside the country. There is no government office inside Seattle/the U.S. that can renew an expired visa.

There is a special exception where students can re-use an expired F-1 visa for a short trip to a U.S. neighbor country (North America/Caribbean).

Travel Advice

Before finalizing travel plans, check the ISS website’s “Travel and Visas” section.

(*Exception: Citizens of Canada do not need to apply for an F-1 visa stamp; they travel with the valid I-20 and passport.)