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Visa and Immigration Questions

These are some of the most common questions that international students ask. If you have more questions, contact us and we'll be happy to help!

Do not rely on friends to give you advice about immigration. Always verify information received from your academic advisors or professors with our office to receive correct and updated information on immigration concerns and issues.

My F1 visa stamp in my passport is expiring or expired. What should I do?

If you are not traveling abroad and re-entering the United States, you do not need to do anything. Your F1 visa stamp in your passport is only for entering the United States, and does not affect your ability to leave. If you are traveling, you must get the visa renewed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad before you can re-enter the United States. F1 visa stamps can only be renewed outside of the United States.

My passport is expiring. What should I do?

Contact your home country's consulate or embassy in the United States to renew your passport. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.

I have lost my F1 status. What should I do?

Loss of F1 status is extremely serious. Contact the International Admissions Office immediately to discuss your situation and how you can get your F1 status back.

Someone is asking for my U.S. social security number. I do not have one. What should I do?

U.S. banks are required to collect U.S. social security numbers for accounts that generate interest. Ask the bank if they offer no-interest accounts or accounts specially designed for international students. Other groups, like apartments and utility companies, should not require a social security number for identification. If they ask you for ID, your passport should be all they need.

F1 students can get a social security number (link will open in a new window) if they are authorized to work and have a job offer. The International Admissions Office can help with this process.

If you do have a social security number, only give it to an institution you trust, such as a bank, a new employer, or a government agency.

Do I need a driver's license?

If you plan to drive a car, you need a valid driver's license. The State of Texas (not the United States government) issues driver's licenses. The State of Texas can issue driver's licenses to foreign nationals in the United States who are here legally on visas. You will need to provide your immigration documents at the driver's license office.

Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website (link will open in a new window) for details.

What is the SEVIS I-901 fee?

All new F1 students are required by U.S. law to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee. Once the Form I-20 is issued to the admitted student the student is required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, unless you paid it already at a previous school and are transferring to Tarrant County College. Read more or pay the fee (link will open in a new window).

I lost my passport and/or I-94 card and F1 visa. What should I do?

Contact your home country’s embassy or consulate office in the United States and work with them to get your passport replaced. Once your passport is replaced, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country about getting a replacement F1 visa. If the documents were stolen, you will need to keep a copy of a police report. The F1 visa stamp cannot be replaced, but this is only a problem if you need to leave the country and re-enter. Talk to us about your options if you lose your F1 visa.

If you lose your I-94 card, you may be able to use the I-94 Official Website (link will open in a new window) to retrieve your I-94 number. If you need a replacement card instead of just a number, file with USCIS using Form I-102, and pay the fee. It takes USCIS an average of 5 to 6 months to issue a replacement I-94 card. Again, talk to us for more help.

Updated August 31, 2020