I got visa for Fall 2009. Can I come to US for Spring 2010 ?

by Kumar · 51 comments

Salim asked, “I had got US f1 visa for fall 2009 but because of some personal problem I was not able to go for fall term, now I have the fresh I-20 of the same university for Spring 2010, I have doubt about my visa, is it valid or not for spring term and what type of difficulty it will create at US immigration counter in airport and what precaution I should take to handle that problem…”

Quick answer, you do not have to worry about anything. You can come to US for Spring 2010 with new I20 from school. Whenever someone gets US visa, there are three entries on the US visa stamp in passport that are very important to watch for.

  • Entries
  • Issue Date
  • Expiration Date

Issues Date        : This tells you when the US visa was issued

Expiration Date  : It states when the US visa is set to expire. Typical duration of 2 to 5 years.

Entries             : It tells how many times you can enter. Single or Multiple. If it says ‘M’, it means multiple entries. You can go to India and come back between the issue and expiration date any number of times.

As long as you have a fresh I-20 for spring 2010 you are good to come here.  Visa entitles you to come to US between the issue and expiration dates with entries stated.  Because the entries are listed as M, students typically come to India for December holidays and then come back to US for spring. It is the same concept!  The only thing I recommend is, you should have a reason prepared or stated with proof, if possible, about why you could not make it for fall 2009. It could be health related or any other family related.  As long as you can explain the immigration officer at port of entry your genuine reasons, there is nothing you need to worry about

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Lsa October 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I have a problem. I am in US now. I was in F2 at the beginning I came here and then applying visa change from F2 to F1 on May 27. When Fall semester started, I have no visa approval, so I do not register and the school deferred me to Spring 2015. On Oct 9, I have the visa approval F1, but I am not in school because the approval came late after. Am I legal living in US now? I am planning to go back to my country on Dec 18, 2014. Is there going to be any problem when I apply for visa stamp and enter US because I wasn’t at school during the period of Oct 2014 to Jan 2015? What extra document or statement do I need to submit? Do I need to submit REINSTATE application?


suman August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

hi my visa is approved on 6th aug 2014 but on conditional admin but i want to go for spring 2015 by retaking the exam to same college is it possible to go please reply me urgent.


Sagar July 17, 2014 at 5:25 am

Murali ..

please tell me what happened in the interview as I am facing the same problem and going for interview at mumbai.



Abdul August 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

I was supposed to pick up my Visa on 16th Aug after I submitted my passport on 14th Aug after a long 4 months of administrative processing. But unfortunately, my passport was returned to me because the visa wasn’t printed. I was asked to come back on Tuesday, 20 Aug for my Visa. I asked the lady if there was any problem because everybody else received their visa except me. she said there was no problem. Has anyone experienced this before?
Another issue is that, my I-20 will expire on 19 Aug and I’m supposed to pick up my passport on 20 Aug. Will this be a problem in the issuing of the visa?


Abdul August 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

Correction …My passport was NOT returned to me. Its still with the embassy.


Ehsan August 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

My visa has been approved on August 15 ,2013 … My classes will begin on August 26 and my orientation will be on August 21, Now If I complete visa stamping and then ask for a defer to spring semester , Is it needed to go for visa interview again ?( I wanna go to the same university and I wanna ask them for a new I20 with the same SEVIS id)
Thank You


Abdul August 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

Hello Ehsan,
I read from other blogs you do not need to go for another visa stamping since you did not enter the states. You only need a new I-20 for the spring semester and you are good to go. All the best pal.


Sue July 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm


I went to the US on F1 visa but due to family emergencies, I had to leave in the middle of the semester. I’m reentering the US a year later but my visa is still good till 2015. Do I need to apply for a new visa? I just received my I-20 in the mail and the next visa appointment date is two days before my flight (which is in a week!). Help? Thanks.


Obuks June 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Pls I want to coomfirm something can I book for my f1 interview after the start date mentioned in my i20?M


Abdul August 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

No. You will denied outright. Contact your school and defer to another semester. have them send you a new I-20 and then you can book for an interview date.


Ravi January 31, 2013 at 3:21 am

I got my F1 Visa approved for Spring 2013 and I went to US for enrolling but due to some emergency i came back to India without enrolling and therefore I deferred my admission for Fall 2013. University will send me a new i-20 in the month of april. My F1 Visa was issued on Dec 3 2012 and it is valid for 5 years. Now the Question is “Do I have to apply for a NEW VISA? or Can I use the old one for Fall semester which is going to start in August 2013?” Thanks in advance


Saurabh January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I am not 100% sure but I think you have to appear for a new visa stamp as there is a break of more than 5 months in your studies.


Ravi February 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Thanks for the Reply Saurabh !!


Mayur March 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

i have similar case,
got Visa on 5th Feb but my school started on 22nd Jan,
My visa was pending under 221g case so it delayed and date to my school had passed so defered to Fall 13 term,
I contacted to Consulate and they said as gap is more than 5months .. reappear for visa ,
please contact me on mayur_agar91 at yahoo dot com


kotesh January 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I have got my F1 Visa approved for Fall 2010 but due to some emergency i was unable to go to US for Fall. I again reapply for admission AT SAME UNIVERSITY and got admit for spring 2013. University send me a new i-20 with the same SEVIS number as earlier. My F1 Visa was issued on 20.July 2010 and i intend to fly to US on 5.feb.2013 But i am very worried about if anything goes wrong on port of entry. Should i go for a new VISA interview? Please reply soon and please send me some authenticate document about the same as i have very less time in hands to attend the spring session. Thanks


Saurabh January 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Yes, you should appear for another visa interview. Even though your visa is still valid, you didn’t use it within 5 months and so should appear for another stamping now.


Nabil July 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Hi Kotesh,

Were you able to get into USA with the old visa ? I have the same situation. Please reply soon.


Rick November 26, 2012 at 5:21 am

I have got my F1 Visa approved for Fall 2012 but due to some emergency i was unable to go to US for Fall. I again reapply for admission AT SAME UNIVERSITY and got admit for spring 2013. University send me a new i-20 with the same SEVIS number as earlier. My F1 Visa was issued on 20.July 2012 and i intend to fly to US on 17.Dec.2012 which is within 5 months of my VISA Issuance date but my classes will begin from 12.Jan.2013.I send my query to support@ustraveldocs.com and they replied that i dont have to reapply. But i am very worried about if anything goes wrong on port of entry. Should i go for a new VISA interview? Please reply soon and please send me some authenticate document about the same as i have very less time in hands to attend the spring session. Thanks


Pratik March 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Hello Kumar,

P.S. My visa is valid till June 2013

So I guess I am having the same situation here. I got F1 visa in 2008, completed my MS and graduated in Dec-2010. I have done OPT for a year and came back to india in Jan 2012. Now I am planing to go back and join the same school and want to enroll in different MS program in Fall 2012. So SEVIS will be the different on I20 than on my F1 visa stamp.

I also got admission in UCSC but the DSO says I need to get F1 visa again as i am changing university. US embassy at DELHI says I need to appear for interview and get F1 visa if i stay longer than 5 month but I guess they haven’t understand my problem and gave me this reason. My university DSO told me that I dont need to get F1 visa, just need to ask if they can transfer SEVIS number on your passport. It’s just administration work as per she think.

My question is do i need to get transfer than SEVIS number on my passport or I will be good at the port of entry? Can you please throw some light on it.


nik March 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

i didnt have a problem …..you could also confirm your case by writing to the immigration officers


Nishit February 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm


i have got a visa for rutgers camden this year for spring 2012.
some how i was not happy with my department and had applied to Indiana university bloomington for fall 2012.

but currently i am in india due to some personal problems and have dropped for a semester at rutgers camden
if i get an admit from indiana university, what have i to do next?

i am ready to stand for a visa inter view for second time. how are my chances now ? please help me. i dont want to attend rutgers camden anymore.


i wish to


rasheed December 2, 2011 at 4:41 am

in embassy interview whats documents required exactly


Advait December 2, 2011 at 12:12 am

Dear Kumar,
I went to the US on my F1 visa on August 17 2011 for Fall 2011 Semester. But had to come back on September 1. I have deferred my admission for Spring 2012 for the same university same course.Since I have been to the US, and the new course will start within the 5 months period of the day I came back i.e. Sep 1 2011. I wanted to ask you Do I have to go for VISA interview again ? The DSO of my University said ” No need. Just pay SEVIS fees once again. ” What do you think ?

Awaiting your reply in anticipation.



Amit November 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Hey guys!! we all fall in same boat……please reply if any one gets any kind of solution.
my id is [email suppressed]


nikita November 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

Hi Jagdish and Anvith…..you should directly contact your university ISSO office for clarification on this issue and confirming what policy they follow.



Jagdish August 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Dear Sir,
I got visa on 1 july 2011(strudent F1, M) but due to family problem I am taking defer for spring 2012 and it will take 6 months.so should I have to restamp visa at Consulate?
Collage is ready to give me new I20 with same SEVIS number.
And I heard, if a student visa is less than five months old, and the SEVIS number, program and university has not changed, the student visa applicant should be able to travel to the U.S. on the current visa. If your visa was issued more than five months before your new start date (as listed on your new I-20), we recommend that you apply for a new visa. If the SEVIS number, program or university has changed, you must apply for a new visa.


Bharadwaj August 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Sir ,
I have recieved an f1 visa for fall 2011 .but atlast before my travelling the university has cancelled my admission and terminated the sevis stating that scores were cancelled , I have already taken the ielts exam and the result would be out before the school opens ,but the university is asking to defer my admission for spring 2012. In that case will my present visa be valid .The visa has 5 years validity and is of cateogery M . Given a new I20 for spring and with or without change in my sevis no. can i travel to spring on the same visa.


ike August 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

Yeah!!! Dat will be no problem at all… Because Visas are just permissions to enter one’s country and since your visa is valid for 5 years, you can just use the NEW I-20 to go to school on spring 2012… You have no problem at all because in my situation, my visa got delayed during spring 2011 this year, but i am in the states now when i deferred to FALL 2011

All what you have to do is to wait patiently for the new I-20 to come…
And welcome to America
NB: Don’t be deceive to go for a new interview because you will be wasting your time….

Hope this helps…


rohit July 12, 2011 at 4:11 am

hieee ……I have the same problem as well…ive got visa for fall 2011,,,, but i cannot make it to the US this fall, so instead i have decided to go there for spring,,,,
so,, inorder to do this, do i have to write to the university to issue a new i20 with the same sevis number,,,,also do i have to apply again or the previous application fees is enough??
thanx in advance…………..


Ike June 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

I applied for my visa during Spring season (January) to study at Arkansas State University but my visa was delayed due to administrative process and my start date passed. So I decided to defer my admission to fall 2011 and got a new I-20 for that. My visa which was delayed is still valid until january 2015.

Now, my problem is, when I received my new I-20, I realised that “the I-20 now has a NEW/DIFFERENT SEVIS NUMBER”… The previous sevis number was N0007434464 and the New one is N0008337943…

I am confused with ‘THE NEW SEVIS NUMBER’. I also want to find out whether i can still come to the U.S for my studies with my valid visa and the new I-20 which has a changed sevis number . Or if there are some safe procedures for me to go through, please let me know. For now, I don’t know what to do… Please help me.

Isaac Opong
From Ghana


Krishna May 13, 2014 at 1:43 am

I am in same situation as of now and I would also like to know regarding this. As I have contacted many guys got to know that I should re-apply for visa. So please do suggest me.


Ankit April 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

I was not able to join in Spring semester because F1 visa was received after the joining date. I informed the university about the same, but the university cancelled my SEVIS record. Now the new I-20 will have new SEVIS record for the same university and same course but a different semester. Will my F1 visa remain valid even then (validity is of 5 years)? Is it possible to get a copy of the rule that states so?


Murali May 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hi Ankit,

I’ve the same issue? Did you get a solution for this?



ankit May 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

hi murali…yes your f1 visa will remain valid in a situation like this….


Murali May 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

Hi Ankit,

Thanks for replying. Though the visa is valid, I am told that I’ve to go for a visa interview again to associate my F1 entry visa with the new SEVIS ID I’ve got. I’ve scheduled an interview appointment in Chennai. I hope things go well.



Murali May 13, 2011 at 10:17 am

Also I fall under the visa renewal category I guess? Please correct me if I am wrong. I really appreciate the help..


Krishna May 13, 2014 at 1:50 am

Hi ankit, I am facing the same problem as I got visa for spring and have deferred it to fall, I have received new I-20 but with different sevis number. So can I go to U.S with same visa or should re-attend V.I…? Its almost 7months that I dint use my visa and many say that I should reattend for VI..please do suggest me.


JAY SHAH July 11, 2010 at 4:24 am

yes sir i have got a new i-20 from the same school for the same program and also my sevis -id number is the same means on visa and i-20.


Kumar July 11, 2010 at 9:47 am

As long as they have sent you a new I20 for the next year and all is good on both sides, you are fine. Good luck !


Deepa Joshi April 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Hi Jay,

Can you please tell me about your experience at the Port of Entry after 1 year deferral. I am in the same boat this year as you were. Please email me at deepajoshi11@gmail.com. I am really very tensed as whether i should go for visa restamping or not. Different people and consulate are telling different things. Time is running out and luckily i came across your post. I would highly apprecaite your help.

Thanks in advance
Deepa Joshi


jay shah July 10, 2010 at 3:04 am

Respected sir,
I got a visa in fall 2009,can i come for fall 2010?


Kumar July 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

As long as the visa is valid you are fine. But, you should get new I20 to reflect the same from the school you got visa stamped. Talk to the school officials and get new I20.


Dinesh Bhatt April 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Hi Kumar,

I got my visa stamped last year and after stamping I deferred my admission by 1 year. I have got a new i-20 from the same school for the same program and also my sevis -id number is the same on visa and i-20. I have not entered the US till now. I am concerned about 2 things:

1. The 5 month window of being away from classes.

2. Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date.

I would highly appreciate clarification of these 2 points.

Dinesh Bhatt


Kumar April 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

In my view,
1. This does not apply to you because, you never entered US and never had F1 status. It is just that you got visa to enter USA on F1 visa.
2. This one does not apply as well because, you did it right the first time…

Just to clarify, I would email the DSO or International advisor at the school you plan to go and get confirmation…


Dinesh Bhatt May 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

Hi Kumar,

Thanks for the reply. I just need 1 more clarification. I have deferred the admission twice. I got the admission for August 2010, deferred it for January 2011, then again deferred for August 2011. Does that makes me ineligible to enter US on the visa that was issued and stamped last year.

Dinesh Bhatt


nikita November 3, 2011 at 2:35 am

hi…..i am in a similar situation. My visa was issued in june 2011……i got my admission deferred from fall 2011 session to spring 2012 session. I have recevied my new I-20. the university has told me that it is not a problem and I can travel on the existing visa. The US-VFS new delhi however says that the visa should not be older that 5 months from your new start date.I will be very grateful if you could kindly let me what I should do about this?


Jagdish November 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

still i am confusse with 5 months policy,there is no any concrete solution.If you get some way please inform.
thanking you


anvith November 10, 2011 at 6:00 am

hi nikita …. me too in similar situation like u … i got my visa on july 11th 2011…. due to domestic reasons i couldn’t for fall 2011 .So i deferred my admission to spring 2012 . will there be any problem at port of entry …… and do u know the validity of visa .I asked many people every one said we can go…… if u know any information regarding this please let me know.


anvith November 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

thanks for ur information and what did university say for your problem….


nikita December 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

Hi anvith..sorry for the late reply..I have been trying to gather information about this..the university said the existing visa is ok…you should still call your university international office just to be sure.


deepak March 25, 2012 at 10:49 am

hi…..tell me if u make it up and leave for US.do u have any problem at port of entry because i was in similar situation…….please reply……..mine visa issue date to i20 date of reporting is greater than 5 months


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