Maintaining Your Visa Status/Visa Renewal | International Student Services

Maintain Your Status

As an F-1 student, maintaining your status is very important because it will directly impact your visa status.  To maintain your status, you must:

  • Be enrolled full time.
  • Attend all your classes regularly.
  • Work with authorization.
  • Make adequate academic progress.

How to Obtain a Visa

  1. Obtain a passport in your home country
  2. Upon acceptance to Wheelock, you'll receive an I-20 form.
  3. Pay the SEVIS Fee and keep the receipt.
  4. Use the I-20 to apply for an F-1 US visa. This type of visa requires that you must be studying full time.
  5. Have your visa interview and bring with you your I-20 Form, Wheelock Acceptance Letter, SEVIS Fee receipt, and financial proof).  Make sure all information on your I-20 is accurate before the visa appointment.  Contact Wheelock's Designated School Officer (DSO) (ttruong@wheelock.edu) immediately if there are discrepancies.
  6. If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need a visa from the American Consul, but you must present your I-20 Form when you enter the U.S.
  7. When you enter the U.S., you need to print your I-94 each time you enter. Pay attention to your I-20's completion date, and let your DSO know 60 days before its expiration date so your DSO can help you get an extension.
  8. If you are already at another school, inform your current DSO that you plan to transfer to Wheelock College. Download Wheelock's Transfer Release Form.
  9. All newly admitted students need to check in with Wheelock's DSO by emailing for an appointment. Bring your I-20, passport with visa, and I-94 printout with you to the appointment. 

Visa Renewal

It is best that students apply for a new visa in their home country. Usually, students have the most success getting a new visa when they go home during their school breaks and use the new visa to reenter the U.S.

Applying for a Visa in a Third Country

It is possible for an international student to apply for a visa in a location that is not your home country.  You can apply for a visa in Canada or Mexico—just make sure you check the U.S. Consulate Office's website for more information about the visa process.  The wait time will depend on the original country you are from.

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