I have an I-20 for the Fall 2018 session and got my F1 visa approved. My college starts on the second week of August. Due to some family emergency, I need to postpone my travel for next semester, i.e. Spring 2019.

If I defer my admission until the Spring 2019 semester, and get a new I-20, will I be legally allowed to enter United states on the same F1 visa or do I need to reapply for a visa?

My F1 visa is a multiple-entry visa and is valid for the next 5 years.


You can use your valid F-1 visa if your SEVIS ID doesn't change (number starting with N printed on your I-20 and visa). You should ask your school to change your I-20 dates without changing your SEVIS ID. This should be possible as long as you haven't yet entered the US. You can explain this is because you already paid the SEVIS fee and got the F-1 visa.

If your SEVIS ID changes, you might be able to use your existing visa but it's not 100% clear that this is ok. It's safest to get a new visa showing your correct SEVIS ID.

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