Center for International Programs
West Chester University
320 Mitchell Hall
675 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
International Student Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.
Passports will now be stamped with the date of admission to the U.S. and the visa status in which one has been admitted. Along with a valid passport and I-20/DS-2019, this admission stamp serves as proof of legal status. It is strongly suggested that one obtains a printout of their electronic I-94 document from the CBP website after each arrival and retain these documents for their records. The printout will serve as an official I-94 record for federal and state government-based benefit applications, such as driver’s license and social security number.
All non-immigrants in the U.S. are required to maintain a valid passport at all times. Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future when entering and re-entering the U.S. and also when applying for a visa. Students must contact their local embassy or consulate for instructions on renewing their passport.
Students whose expired passport has a valid visa are still able to use that visa if they have the old passport. Students must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.
Students may stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1/J-1 visa as long as they are properly maintaining their status by being in possession of a valid I-20/DS-2019 and an I-94 Arrival/Departure record.
Visas cannot be renewed inside the U.S. Once students have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, they should review the Embassy or Consulate’s website regarding details on the visa renewal process including required documents. Students are also able to check on the visa wait times for a specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the U.S. Department of State Website.
The Department of State recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country. Students who must apply for a visa in a third country must remember the following:
The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. The fee also covers the operational costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 on or after October 27, 2008, is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP. The fee is $180 for J-1 students and scholars and the fee for F-1 students is $200.
Students must have the Form I-20 or DS-2019 before they pay the fee. Although students are able to schedule a visa application interview before they make the SEVIS I-901 fee payment, the fee should be paid at least a few days in advance of the interview date.
Students can pay the SEVIS fee online. When paying online, please make sure to print the receipt directly after the transaction. Students and scholars must present the fee payment receipt to the officer at the visa interview and at the port of entry when entering the U.S.