I'm an international student doing a PHD in the USA. Currently my F-1 Visa expired but I have a new I-20 to renew it in my home country Colombia. I have a trip for an India conference for 10 day starting June 10 and ending June 20. My plan is to go to India from the US and then return to Colombia to renew my Visa but from India to Colombia the flight makes a stop in Newark, and I understand you must have a transit visa to do this. My question is, can I do it with my expired F-1 visa?
There's no such thing as 'transit' for the US, unfortunately, you need a legal visa to enter. However, there are some caveats for this.
Firstly, is your visa expired? If so (as yours is), you need a new one:
If your visa is expired or you have already used the number of entries you are allowed, you will need to apply for a new F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S.
However, if you are just passing through to visit certain countries, there are some exceptions:
If you are traveling only to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean (except Cuba and Bermuda) for fewer than thirty days, you may return to the U.S. with an expired F-1 entry visa in your passport
I went hunting to see what they defined the 'Caribbean' as, but unfortunately, it's not Colombia.
If your U.S. F-1 or J-1 visa has expired...limited to only U.S. territories, Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands of the Caribbean, and your combined visits to these countries must be limited to less than 30 days.
U.S. Territories in the Caribbean include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John).
Adjacent islands of the Caribbean (as defined in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at 8CFR 286.1(a) include:
Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miquelon, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions bordering on the Caribbean Sea.