Renewing Your Student Visa

There are many resources available to guide you through applying for your visa. EducationUSA and the U.S. Department of State provide an overview, step-by-step instructions, information on fees, required documentation and dependents. To apply for your visa, find the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Please Remember

  • You may apply for your visa to study in the U.S. up to 120 days in advance of returning to your studies.
  • You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to your program start date.
  • Wait-times for interview appointments vary by location, time of year, and visa type. Request a visa appointment early.
  • If you are denied the visa, ask the officer for a list of documents they would suggest you bring next time and get the reason you were denied in writing. Stay positive. Do not engage in an argument.

What to Expect

Your visa interview will be quick, so remember the following tips:

  • Be honest in everything you write and say for your interview.
  • Be prepared to explain why you want to study in the U.S. and talk about why you chose Minnesota State Mankato, your program of study.
  • Be ready to explain how you’ll use that education and experience in your home country when you return home.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

Bring With You Tips to Remember
#1: Your Visa Application Fill everything out completely and double check your work!
#2: SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt Fully understand what the I-901 fee is and how to print your receipt. If you were travelling for 5 months or less, you do not need to pay a new I-901 fee. Bring your original receipt with you.
#3: Valid Passport  
#4: Passport-style Photos Photos must follow U.S. Department of State photo guidelines
#5: I-20 or DS-2019 Returning Students: If you are applying for a visa to continue your studies at Minnesota State Mankato, be sure your immigration advisor has signed the travel page within the last year.
#6: Financial Evidence You must be able to show financial evidence detailing source and amount of funding.
#7: Proof of Enrollment Returning Students: If you are applying for a visa to continue your studies at Minnesota State Mankato, you must bring a transcript to confirm your enrollment at the University.
#8: Proof of English Proficiency  
#9: Continuing Ties to Your Home Country When a visa is denied, this is typically why. See below for more information.

Evidence of Continuing Ties to Your Home Country

Under the United States laws and practices, the consular officer views the visa applicant as a potential immigrant and it is up to the applicant to prove that this is not the case.  You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the U.S. Since the F-1 and J-1 visas are non-immigrant visas, expressing your ties to your home country are of the utmost importance.

  • “Ties” to your country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence: job, family, or financial connections (e.g. bank accounts, property, investments, etc.).
    • Does your family own land or a business?
    • Do you have employment waiting for you?
    • Are your family and friends still in your home country?
  • The consular officer may ask about your: future employment; family or other relationships; educational objectives; your educational background; long-range goals; and career prospects in your home country.

Find more information at Study in the States and NAFSA.