Carnegie Mellon University

About Your Visa

Your U.S. visa is the entry sticker in your passport that allows you to enter the U.S. You must apply for it at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the U.S. It certifies that you are eligible to apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry in a particular classification, such as F-1 or J-1.

When you arrive into the U.S. at a port of entry, you must present your passport with the entry visa and other supporting documents to a Customs and Border Protection officer. The officer then decides whether you are eligible to enter the country and how long you may stay, and then admits you in a nonimmigrant status that matches the visa in your passport. The most common statuses for CMU students are F-1 and J-1, and the most common statuses for scholars are J-1 and H-1B workers.

Visa Renewal & Entry/Transit Visa

Students and scholars who plan on traveling outside the U.S. may need to renew their visa if it expires before their program is over, or may need to apply for a foreign country visitor or transit visa depending on their country of citizenship and legal permanent residence. 

Learn More

Applying for or Renewing a Visa in a Third Country

If you are traveling to a country that is not your country of citizenship or permanent residence (i.e., a “third” country), you could have difficulty in applying for your visa. Be sure to speak to an OIE advisor before planning to apply for a visa in a third country so that you know your options.

Learn More

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Automatic Revalidation allows certain nonimmigrants to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa sticker in their valid passport after visiting Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for less than 30 days. Under this provision, the expired nonimmigrant visa is considered to be automatically extended to the date of readmission. 

Learn More

Visa Delays & Security Clearance

Security Advisory Opinion (SAO), commonly called "security clearance," "administrative clearance," or "administrative processing," is a process the U.S. Department of State and its consulates use in deciding to grant or deny a U.S. visa. International students and scholars seeking U.S. visas may encounter visa delays and/or security clearance checks for a variety of reasons. 

Learn More

Schengen Visa Requirements

A Schengen Visa is an entry permit to the Schengen Zone, granted to third-country nationals wishing to enter and remain for short-stays in any of the member states. Only foreign students and scholars from countries that have not signed a visa-free agreement with the Schengen Area member states require a Schengen Visa.

Learn More