Please find the conditions below that apply to you:
*If you have a valid (unexpired) visa, your passport has not expired, AND you have not passed your program completion date, all you need is a Purchase I-20 or IAP-66 with a recent signature of a Designated School Official (DSO for I-20’s) or Responsible Officers (RO for IAP-66’s). By ‘recent’ we mean dated within the 6 (six) months prior to your return to the United States. You can go home and return without visiting an embassy or consulate. Contact the International Student Advisor.
*If your visa has expired, you must get a new one while you are in your home country. Embassies and consulates do not accept old financial documentation (bank statements and proof of income) when you apply for a new visa. Therefore, at least a month before you plan to travel, visit our office. If the financial documents in our files are less than 6 months old, we will prepare a new I-20 for F-1 students and attach copies of your financial documents. If they are older, you will need to have your sponsor prepare new bank statements and/or proof of income. You will need to take these documents with you when you are applying for a new visa. J-1 students need a new signature, rather than a new IAP-66. (See the section on "Renewing or Changing Visas" above.)
*If you changed your status to F-1 or J-1 after entering the U.S., you still do not have an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport and you will have to obtain one while in your home country. This means that you will need to present a new I-20 or properly endorsed IAP-66 with recent financial documentation to the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. (See "Renewing Visas".)