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I am a foreign citizen and was studying in the US. I was dismissed from my university in June 2017. My SEVIS record was terminated in October for a failure to enrol in new classes.

I have now been accepted into another college in the US. I have obtained a new I20 from this school. The program begins in February 2018. I am currently in my home country. Do I need a new F1 visa to study at the new university? Note that the I20 I have been issued is a new initial attendance I20 and not a transfer I20. Of course, when I re-enter, my visa will have a different university name on it than my I20.

Thank you.

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Your status is not determined by what visa you have, but once you travel abroad, you will need to obtain a new visa from the US embassy/consulate there. Bring all the relevant paperwork for this, and be prepared to explain your situation

  • So basically if I travel outside the US while not in status, I will need to get a new visa? – user71611 Dec 18 '17 at 16:22
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    @user71611 Yes, either if your visa expired or is otherwise no longer valid. However, if you're in the middle of the process of transferring, I strongly recommend you not to leave the country, and if it's about a death in your family, contact the USCIS and your new University about it – Crazydre Dec 18 '17 at 16:31
  • My visa is valid (expiry date) till 2020. Do I still need a new F1 visa? What do you mean by "otherwise no longer valid"? I have already left the country I'm afraid (I had to due to lack of status). Thank you. – user71611 Dec 18 '17 at 16:37
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    @user102008 This Person had their SEVIS record terminated. AFAIK that'll mean a new SEVIS number (correct me if I'm wrong) – Crazydre Dec 18 '17 at 20:06
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    @Coke you're not wrong; OP was dismissed by the university and, as a consequence, was out of status and, thus, does not have an existing F-1. Given the academic dismissal, OP must again apply for the visa. – Giorgio Dec 19 '17 at 15:06
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There are several reasons why you should get a new visa in this case. Note also that you may face a higher bar than usual in convincing the officer that you're eligible for the visa, so you should be ready to explain your situation.

  • First, since you're getting a new SEVIS ID and not applying for reinstatement, you won't have a way to regain valid status within the US.

  • Second, if you were out of status in the US, your old visa is automatically invalid per INA 222(g). Furthermore, you must apply for the new visa at the US consulate in your country of nationality except in extraordinary circumstances.

  • Finally, even if you left the US before any status violation, simply because your new I-20 has a new SEVIS ID, you generally should get a new F-1 visa.

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