h1b cap reached options
F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F1 Visa Renewal on OPT – 221(g) and Trouble at Port of Entry

h1b cap reached optionsHere is a F1 Visa renewal on OPT interview at Chennai Consulate. There is always a risk of F1 Visa denial while on OPT.

Why would someone have to attend F1 Visa renewal interview?

When your F1 Visa stamping is expired, but you have to travel outside USA.  Here is an instance when you don’t have to attend the interview.

If you are travelling to Mexico or Canada or other contiguous territories (except for Cuba)  for less than 30 days, you could re-enter the U.S. on your expired F1 visa stamping.

But, you need to carry the following documents with you :

  • Valid passport
  • EAD card
  • I-20 with Travel Endorsement

While leaving USA, do not to turn in your I-94 card.

You must keep it in your passport to re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa.

If you are traveling other than Canada, Mexico and other contiguous territories, you will need to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate, attend visa interview and get stamping in your passport. a new visa stamp. See our visa renewal handout (PDF) for more information.

Renewal Experience

One of my friend got 221(g) in 2011 Aug and her visa is going to be expired by 2013 December.

She applied for F1 visa renewal in Chennai consulate. She is in Optional Practical Training  and she is working as a Research Assistant (Biotechnology)

She got the strong recommendation letter from the employer and the pay stubs as well for the F1 Visa Renewal interview.

She booked the F1 interview couple weeks ago, here is the F1 interview experience.

F1 Visa Renewal on OPT

VO: Good morning.
SHE: Good Morning.

VO : What are you doing for this company?
SHE: I’m working as Research Assistant.

VO: Could you please explain about this project?
SHE: She explained everything about this project. (it seems to be, VO can’t understand)

VO: Do you have your resume with you?
SHE: Nope

VO: We need to cross check your resume and the project which you are working for, once that is done we will let you know. (VO took the passport)

VO issued 221(g) with the case number, document is required.

And as per the VO, she need to submit the document (resume) in OFC, But the OFC refused to accept the Resume.

OFC gave the mail ID to send her resume. Then she mailed her resume to the corresponding mail ID.

After 5 Business days, she got the mail from the consulate, that her VISA got approved with F1 visa Extension for four more years.

She came back to US yesterday but again.

At the Port of Entry : In the CBP officer asked why are you coming back to US.

She said, I’m in OPT and I’m working as a Research Assistant in with following employer. Then they started triggering so many questions against her project. After they satisfied with her answers, she was allowed to re-enter USA.

FAQ’s on F1 Visa Renewal

See Also :  F1 Visa Renewal approved after 221g in India

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  1. Hey Tanika,
    I am in a similar situation.Wanted to know more about your experience of Visa Stamping.Did it go through.Did you consider getting it stamped from Canada for that matter.Any insights would be really helpful.

    1. Hey Chetha,
      Any updates on your issue, I am planning to go to Canada for F1 re stamping. Please share your experience that would be helpful.

  2. Hi
    I came to USA 3 years back as tourist and started studying on F1 Visa (it got approved as I applied from here, USA). Now I am in OPT-STEM which is valid for next 3 years. As I mentioned, my visa status thing, I am planning to travel to India. Also, I am having job in XXX company from long time since I am in OPT.
    What are the chances of my visa getting approved as i will be going for STAMPING end of june,2018. what are the major documents which would be helpful? Please guide me as it would be great help.

  3. Hi Raghu,

    I am Yeshwanth. I am in OPT right now. Applied for a STEM extension. It will take about 90 days for the processing of my STEM extension application. My employer will file my H1 in April 2017. Assuming my application is picked and approved by May 2017 (through fast processing). Can I travel to India sometime after May and return in June. As I will be on OPT by then. And my H1 will not be activated until 1st of October. Will there be any risk involved?

    Thank You

  4. Hello Raghu,

    I am working at XXX. I am on OPT and planning to travel outside of US during OPT. I have a valid EAD, passport, F-1 Visa, I-20 signed for travel and job offer letter. Do you think that I can travel and re enter safely? Will there be any risk that the CBP officer may not allow me to re enter to US?


  5. A small but very important piece of information about coming back to USA on a expired visa.
    This process is called visa re-validation.
    One thing to remember is that “You can NOT apply for visa if you plan for re-validation”.
    Applying for the visa invalidates your I-94 and it’s the I-94 that is getting re-validated when you try to re-enter USA from canada/mexico with an expired visa.
    This means, If you apply for visa in a consulate in say Canada, you can not come back to USA on a expired visa under re-validation rule.

  6. Raghu,

    First of all i am very glad and thankful for all your responses and help to all of us here. I recently got into this trouble.
    I graduated last year with MS degree .. my i-20 says web-designing and information systems.
    When i intially applied for OPT, i have submitted my transcripts along with the application packet.
    Last month i applied for extension and i got an RFE.

    “It states that i need to submit my copy of degree reflecting the conferred degree as well as my major field of study.” – This is all i was asked. No employment history or anything related to work.

    My university never mentions the major as such on the degree certificate.

    Here is the problem i am facing. The transcripts i initially submitted has the coursework i took during the program. My I-20 has the major or specialization i will work on. The employment i currently have is a close match to the i20 details. But my courses are a little off.

    Please advise me if this is a possible situation for extension approval basing on I-20 and my employment history.

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