The end of the semester is coming fast, and it is a good time of year to check on the expiration dates of your documents. Many people are traveling or have been here a while and it is hard to remember expiration dates. If they are about to expire, there may still be time to fix the documents, so we wrote this guide to remind you about a few that you need to check:
· Passport – For all students who are not US citizens: Be sure that your passport expiration date is valid for at least 6 months in the future at all times. If it will expire or has expired, you need to contact your embassy to get it renewed. Each country has their own policy about how to renew passports. Some will let you do it by mail, others may require you to go to a physical location. Some countries have a consulate in Houston that you could go to so that you would not have to go all the way to Washington DC.
· I-20 – If you are an F-1 student, you are required to complete your program before your I-20 expires. Please check the first page of your I-20. In section #5, you will see an expected completion date. If you will not graduate before this day, you will need to apply for an extension. Important: you must have your I-20 extended before the expiration date. The I-20 cannot be extended after the completion date. Please contact the International Admissions Office to ask about how to extend your I-20.
· Visa – If you plan to travel outside of the United States, your visa will need to expire after your return date. If it has expired, you will need to renew your visa outside the US before you return. You can apply for a visa by filling out the DS-160 before you leave and schedule your visa appointment for a convenient date when you are home. Please keep in mind that some consulates require that they mail you your passport with the visa stamp and this could take extra time.
· Driver's License – Non-residents will be given 2 expiration dates on your Texas driver’s license, and both are valid. If one expires, then the card is expired. Usually a renewal notice will be mailed, but go ahead and check the dates so that you are not surprised.
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International Admissions and Immigration