International Affairs: Visa Application Support
If you depart the United States during your degree program, and your F-1 Visa has expired, you will be required to apply for a new one before returning to the United States. We recommend that you contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the country that you plan to travel to obtain the required documents to apply for a new visa. If you will not be applying in your home country, it is HIGHLY recommended that you determine if the country that you are traveling to will accept a third-party national visa application. Some consulates or embassies will not accept third-party national applications, and you must come up with an alternate plan.
Students Registering for SAIC Study Trips
Are you an international student planning to register for an SAIC study trip? If so, be sure that you are eligible. Carefully review the visa requirements of the country/ies you plan to visit on the study trip. Many countries require a valid, unexpired U.S. F-1 visa to apply for their visitor visa.
Check your passport to see if your F-1 visa has expired; if it has, you can either:
- travel outside the U.S. to renew your F-1 before you register for your SAIC study trip
- book your study trip flight with a stopover in your home country; plan to renew your F-1 visa either on the way or on your return
Note: most foreign consulates will grant you a visitor visa if you have evidence (flight ticket) that indicates you will stop over in your home country to renew your F-1 either before or after your study trip.
Meet with an international student advisor for questions or to discuss your plans in more detail.
If the consulate or embassy is requiring enrollment verification or transcripts (academic records) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), request these documents directly from Registration and Records. Please visit the Registration and Records Office page to view the four different ways to request transcripts.
The International Affairs office encourages you to write letters of invitation for use in the visa interview of a friend or parent. Use our Sample Invitation Letter to structure a letter inviting your guests to the United States. International Affairs does not issue these standard letters.
The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program
The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs. If you have had repeated difficulties at US ports of entry or have been repeatedly referred to secondary inspection despite having all immigration documents, you can file an inquiry with DHS here.