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

In F1 Stamping- After Visa by Kumar78 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

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Comments ( 78 )

  1. Anurag

    Hello !

    Guys….i am in a fix. My F1 VISA was approved last year in July 2015 but I had deferred my admission by 1 year due to a last minute emergency. Now I am joining my university for Fall 2016. I know my VISA is valid for 5 years but ppl r saying have to reapply for a new VISA but can skip the interview. Some people are saying that no need to new VISa. I can go with same visa but a new I20. I am now really confused. Is there any rule that we have to enter the States within 5 or 6 months of i20 date ?What should I do ? 😟😟


    1. administrator

      I have been told by one of the readers that there is a rule as such and the 5 month rule applies only to existing students. Check F1 Visa Deferral Article ( end of it ) Apparently, that user emailed CBP and they confirmed. You may email CBP as well to get confirmation. You can email US Consulate as well to get confirmation.

  2. nisha

    HI i got visa approved feb 3rd 2016 but i am unable go. now i got same i 20 for april intake can i travel same visa? i got mail from us consulate my visa no longer valid .i am having question after been approved is there possible to cancelled? i check my status it shows issued on feb 3rd and status update on 15th march what is it6 mean?

    1. sreekanth raja v

      hi nisha we also standing the same situation while If your SEVIS no will not change means you dont want to presence a new visa interview may be If its change you must attned the new visa interview Confirm your DSO does you have any doubts pls text me on Wtsapp 7356408273

  3. Arun

    I got my f1 visa approved for Jan 2016, and my visa was issued in Nov2015, due to some personal problems Ideferred my admission to April2016. Is there any problem at Port of Entry when I travel to USA. what should I give the proper reason?? Please help me

  4. mani

    hii please help me i got visa stamping on Sacred heart university for Spring 2016 my orientation day is on jan 6th 2016. Due to my loan rejection i was unable to go now.If i request the university to deferr my i20 will they deferr.Which reason should i say to them.Please someone help me..

      1. sreekanth raja

        hey thats not a big issue while you just mail your college I have a small problem in my home so i cant come this intake so i may next intake kindly send me new i-20 with same sevis id nu //. they will accept don mention your loan rejection issue

  5. Shreya

    I got my Visa for Fall 15 but I couldn’t go because the visa was put under 220G and it got really when the approved visa arrived. So, I deferred my admit to Spring, they have sent me a new I20 but the SEVIS number on it is different from the previous one. Should that be a problem or should I ask the university to send me a new I20

    1. Ankush

      The response I got from US consulate is that even if sevis number changes, as long as the university and program remain the same, same visa can be used for entering the united states. You can check with university if they can issue a new i20 with old sevis number. However I don’t think it is possible because change in sevis number indicates that your sevis is updated to reflect the some change (which is admission deferral). Bottom line is that you are good even if sevis number is changed.

  6. rohit Chandra

    Hi my visa is issued on July 1 2015 I defer my admission from fall 2015 to spring 2016 and my spring starts in January 2015 my question is should I go for visa again as i heard visa is valid for before 5months of issue date as per rule i can enter in to USA 30 days before of orientation day. July 1 to December 1 its 5 months so should I go for visa again reply me please

    1. Ankush

      Hi Rohit,

      No need to go for Visa interview again. I am same situation and I got confirmation from US Consulate, School DSO as well as USCBP that you can use same visa to enter US in Spring 16 with new I20.

      The 5 month rule is only applicable to returning students (students who have started the studies and then there is 5 month break, in fat in this situation F1 visa becomes invalid even if student remain inside US).

      Let me know if you have doubts or got any conflicting information.


      1. Fhanindra

        I hv some doubts regarding defer admission can you email me.
        My email:[email protected]

        Feel free to call or email
        Waiting for your response

      2. Vishal

        Hello Ankush,

        I have got my visa approved on november 2015, but due to personal reasons and bank rejecting my loan made my travel impossible, so i want to defer the intake to august 2016. Now do i need to take my visa interview again as i heard there 5 month rule? please response to my doubt.


        1. administrator

          Check last section of this article. We have been told by a user that it does not apply as he had communicated with CBP and they confirmed it is valid, if going to same school.

      3. Rohith

        Hi ankush,

        I am Rohith
        My friend got visa on dec-07 for spring 2016 bt he differed it for summer due to health reasons . Can he plan for summer 2016 with the new i20 .

        Or this 5 month rule applicable.

  7. Ahmed Badi

    Good day!
    I had got f1 us visa (entries: 1, issue date: 01FEB2015, Expiration date: 27JAN2016) for the language course (deadline: 26-Mar-2015 complete study: 17-Mar-2016) as in the I20. due financial issues I defered the course and I got a new I20 with (deadline 24-June-2015 complete study 4-sep-2015). is it possible for me to defer the course again to the next one (deadline: 23-sep-2015 complete: 4-dec-2015), notice my sevis fees paid on 17-June-2015. do I’ll find any deficulty with US immigration counter in the airport or refusal of entrence to US?

  8. Jahanzeb

    please help me . My F1 visa was issued on 28th april and my classes gona start in august … can i leave for us in May .. What if i’ve confirmed the ticket too plz help me i’am realli worried

  9. raja

    i got my visa and planned to move may unfortunately due to some family issues i could not travel this intake an plan to go june if there any issue ? waht i can even my visa will cancelled r agin i need to attend the visa interview and all ? possible to change the next intake ?
    pls clarified possible call me and explain

  10. raja

    i got my visa and planned to move may unfortunately due to some family issues i could not travel this intake an plan to go june if there any issue ? waht i can even my visa will cancelled r agin i need to attend the visa interview and all ? possible to change the next intake ?
    pls clarified possible call me and explain 9840567670 9976210776

  11. Ekta


    I am on H4 Visa, I am planing to start working in USA by doing a fulltime course in USA and working through OPT and the applying for EAD. Please suggest if this is the process I should follow.
    Awaiting reply.

  12. deeksha

    my name is deeksha. my problem is entirely different. i got f1 visa on july 2014 went and joined university but the classes were not yet started. i was there for only a month and i was informed that my mom died with heart stroke and so i left everythng and came to india. after coming here i officially withdrawn from the university. its been more than 5 months so i got another i2 0 from another university and im applying again for f1 visa. are there any chances of getting visa. please give me reply

    1. vamshi

      hai deeksha this is pavan.

      same problem is occurred in my life also but now my mom is k , but i left from usa before 5 months …now i need to go again .what is the process ,can i use the old visa for entry the usa or again i have to apply for visa? i have a i20 also …
      waiting for ur replay

  13. mani

    I got my F1 visa in july 2014 and i did not go to the Fall 2014 intake because of some personal issues and I want to defer it to the spring intake. And I don’t want to study in the University on which I got my F1 Visa.. Will they transfer my admission from that University to other even after deferral?
    I highly appreciate your suggestion!!!

    1. krishna

      Your F1 should not exceed three to five months after you have been approved to enter USA. The next thing is you have to ask the university to defer the admission to spring and ask them to send a new I-20 with same sevis ID on which you got visa. If they don’t send you the I-20 with same sevis you have to attend VI again. If they give you the I-20 with same sevis ID then you just to USA for spring and then transfer your admission to other university in which u r intrstd in. If u hav any oder questions u can email me to (email removed spam )

  14. Lsa

    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?

  15. suman

    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.

  16. Sagar

    Murali ..

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


  17. Abdul

    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?

  18. Ehsan

    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

    1. Abdul

      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.

    2. Ankush


      Abdul is correct. No need to get a new Visa.

      Please don’t get confuse by 5 month rule. It is applicable only to returning F1 students. If you have not entered in US before (with your current F1 visa), and have a current I20 (with unexpired date), you are good to go.

  19. Sue


    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.

    1. Abdul

      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.

  20. Ravi

    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

    1. administrator

      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.

        1. Mayur

          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

  21. kotesh

    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

    1. administrator

      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.

  22. Rick

    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 [email protected] 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

  23. Pratik

    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.

  24. Nishit


    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

  25. Advait

    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.


  26. nikita

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


  27. Jagdish

    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.

  28. Bharadwaj

    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.

    1. ike

      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…

  29. rohit

    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…………..

  30. Ike

    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

    1. Krishna

      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.

  31. Ankit

    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?

        1. Murali

          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.


        2. Murali

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

        3. Krishna

          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.

  32. JAY SHAH

    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.

    1. administrator

      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 !

    2. Deepa Joshi

      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 [email protected] 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

    1. administrator

      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.

      1. Dinesh Bhatt

        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

        1. administrator

          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…

          1. Dinesh Bhatt

            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

      2. nikita

        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?

        1. Jagdish

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

        2. anvith

          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.

          1. nikita

            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.

        3. deepak

          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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