Apply for or Renew Your Visa
ISSS Guide :: Applying for a Visa
Apply for a Visa
After being admitted, the ISSS will review a student’s admission documents for eligibility to receive an I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 student). All F-1 and J-1 international students are required to provide proof of financial support that equals the estimated cost for one year of study at A&M-Commerce.
Once the I-20 has been issued, you will receive an email notification providing the bank and sponsor statement with their SEVIS number and the university’s school code (F visa students) or school program (J visa students). Students may use this information to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, pay the visa application fee, and schedule their visa appointment.
SEVIS I901 Fee
To learn more about applying for a visa, visit the following resources:
Renew Your Visa
Students who have traveled outside the U.S. with an expired visa will be required to renew their visa before they may re-enter the U.S. The ISSS recommends students renew their visa in their home country and have a copy of the following documents:
- Valid I-20 with a valid travel signature (travel signatures are valid for one year from the date of the signature)
- Valid passport
- Original transcript or copy of unofficial transcript
- Proof of funding for one year or study at A&M-Commerce
What if My Visa is Denied?
If you are denied a visa and you are not able to arrive at A&M-Commerce by your program start date of your I-20 then you will need to defer your admission.
If a visa is denied, the consular officer should give the applicant the reason(s) for the denial in writing. The denial letter will specify which section of the law was applied to your case. Please note the ISSS cannot intervene in a visa officer’s decision to deny a visa.
- If a specific document is lacking the consulate officer will give written notice to the applicant explaining what documents are needed. This is a called a 221(g) letter. You should collect the missing documents and arrange to deliver them to the consular officer. You may need to return for a follow-up interview.
- If you are denied under any section of the law other than 221(g), for example 214(b) or 212(a), you will have to reapply at a later date.
- If you are denied under 214(b) we do not recommend reapplying unless your personal circumstances, that prove your non-immigrant intent, change significantly or you feel you did not present all the information the officer would have needed to approve your visa.
View Department of State Visa Denial Guidance for additional information.
Travel Abroad as a Current F-1 Students
Travel guidance for F-1 students currently studying in an academic program or the English Language Institute at A&M-Commerce.
- Currently students must have a valid travel signature to re-enter the U.S. The travel signature on the second page of the I-20 is valid for 12-months from the date of the signature for re-entry to the U.S.
- Students do not need a new travel signature each time they travel outside the U.S. if their current signature on the second page of their I-20 is valid through the date of re-entry.
For more information, see the Student and Exchange Visitor Program page.
Maintain Status During a Temporary Absence From Studies
- Students who will not enroll in courses or will withdraw from courses for the fall or spring semester and will return to their home country will need to review the Authorized Early Withdrawal information.
- Students who will not enroll in courses or withdraw from courses for the fall or spring semester and will not return to their home country will need to contact the ISSS by the 5th day of class or before withdrawing from courses to discuss their situation.
- Make sure you read and understand maintaining your visa validity following a break in your studies or a temporary leave of absence.
Form I-515A: Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor
If an F-1 or J-1 Exchange Visitor or their dependents (F-2 or J-2) arrive at a U.S. port of entry and do not have all signed required documents, have not paid the I-901 SEVIS Fee on their current I-20 (F visa) or DS-2019 (J visa), or have SEVIS status issue, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer may deny the individual entry into the United States.
- As an alternative, the officer has discretion to issue a Form I-515A which allows the individual temporary admission into the U.S. for 30 days.
- The individual must contact the ISSS immediately and provide the necessary documents to the SEVP I-515A processing team no later than 30 days from the date of entry into the U.S.
- To find out more information, see the SEVP Form I-515A Fact Sheet
If you are issued a Form I-515A you will need to contact the ISSS office at A&M-Commerce immediately and provide a copy of the Form I-515A.
- The ISSS will review your Form I-515A and provide any additional documentation if necessary (copy of updated I-20).
- You MUST submit all required documents as stated on I-515A within 30 days to the SEVP Form I-515A processing team.
- The mailing address and instructions are provided on the I-515A.
Once submitted you are expected to resume your studies (current students) or continue your employment (OPT students).
- It will take SEVP an average of 2-3 months to process your I-515A and their response will be sent to the ISSS.
- If you are denied then you will need to depart the U.S. immediately.
- If you are approved then you may continue your studies or OPT employment.