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Renewing Your J-1 Visa

Consular Policies and Procedures
You should expect that the visa application and issuance procedures might have changed since you last obtained a visa.  Most U.S. Embassy and Consulate Websites offer good information on these procedures, but be aware that websites may not have been updated to reflect recent changes in policies and procedures.  The most current information can be obtained by contacting the consular office where you would like to apply for a visa.

Applying in a Country Where You Are Not a Citizen
If you would like to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate in a country that is not your country of citizenship, you should resarch the specific visa application requirements.  You should also contact that consulate, inform them of your country of citizenship, and ask (1) if they will accept and consider your application, and (2) approximately how long it will take for the visa to be issued, if approved. 

It is possible that it will be more difficult, and in some cases perhaps even impossible, to obtain a visa from a U.S. Consulate which is not located in your country of citizenship or lawful permanent residence.

Click here to find out how long it will take to get a visa application appointment at a U.S. Consulate.

Applying in Canada, Mexico or the Adjacent Islands
Any nonimmigrant who applies for a visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate while in Canada, Mexico or (for those in F or J status) the adjacent islands, will not be allowed to take advantage of the Automatic Visa Revalidation provision to return to the U.S.  If the visa is denied, the nonimmigrant will be required to travel elsewhere (most likely the home country) to apply for the U.S. visa stamp before returning to the U.S.  Please note that this new restriction applies to citizens from all countries.

To renew your J-1 visa, you will need to submit the following documents to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (forms can be downloaded, or obtained from any U.S. Consulate):
  1. Form DS-156 or Form DS-160 (the electronic version of the DS-156), Application for Nonimmigrant Visa

  2. Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Generally required of all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45.  Check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying for additional requirements.)

  3. Form DS-158, Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant

  4. Application fee (check with the consulate for the current fee amount and how it must be paid)

  5. One photograph (2 inches square [51 x 51mm], showing full face, without head covering, against a light background)

  6. Passport

  7. Your current DS-2019 (see below)

  8. Proof of continued enrollment at Boston University (see below)

  9. Original financial documents proving the availability of sufficient funds (see below)

  10. Documents that demonstrate your "nonimmigrant intent" (i.e., proof that you will return home after your studies)

Preparations before you leave the U.S.

USCIS Form DS-2019
You need to request a travel signature from the ISSO if you do not already have one, or if you have a travel signature that will be more than a year old at the time you wish to return to the U.S.  (Travel signature must be less than 6 months old for travel to Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands.)

Proof of Continued Attendance - We suggest that you visit the ISSO and request a Certificate of Enrollment that verifies you are a full-time student at Boston University.

Financial Documents
If the documents that prove you have sufficient funds to support your education in the U.S. will be more than twelve months old at the time you apply for a new visa, we recommend that you arrange to submit new financial documents with your visa application as proof that your funding is still valid.  If all or any part of your funding comes from Boston University (e.g., scholarship, teaching fellowship, research assistantship), we recommend that you obtain a letter or document verifying the continued validity and amount of the award.  If all or any part of your funding comes from other sources (e.g., family funds, government scholarship, loan), we recommend that you obtain a letter or document verifying the amount and continued availability of funding.


Boston University
August 5, 2010

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office