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My U.S. F1 Visa expires on 30th June 2015, and I am visiting India near end of December this year. Can I apply for F1 visa renewal (category,university, etc. everything remains the same). Is it too early to apply before the expiry of the current visa? Can the US embassy reject the renewal, which may cause problems later on?

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    Why do you want to renew your visa? Do you intend to return to the U.S. after your current visa expires? – user102008 Nov 9 '14 at 5:09
  • My studies will take more time because of which I want to extend my VISA, and during my studies I would like to visit India. – Akhil Nov 9 '14 at 16:47
  • A U.S. visa is only for entering the U.S. You would only need another U.S. visa if you leave the U.S. and need to re-enter the U.S. after your current visa expires. – user102008 Nov 9 '14 at 18:41
  • I understand that. I want to renew my VISA now, before it expires. And the reason is that next time I visit India, I may no longer be a Phd student and I will be on OPT. Getting visa renewed on OPT is riskier. Therefore, I want to renew it now. – Akhil Nov 9 '14 at 23:09
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    As long as you have the proper Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document,” (EAD), received from USCIS, you should have no problem having a new F-1 OPT issued. If your current D/S is ending within a year, you may actually have more trouble getting a new F-1 with the D/S ending soon than you would waiting until you have the approved EAD. By the way, the reason you've not gotten "enough attention" to this question is basically because the earliest you can attempt to 'renew' your visa isn't actually written anywhere so there are no rules to quote. – CGCampbell Nov 12 '14 at 4:11
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+50

According to the official FAQ on non-immigrant visas: Yes, one can apply early to renew, and yes it can be rejected inasmuch as it will be a new application. Below is the quote of the relevant part of the afore-mentioned page:

Q: I have a nonimmigrant visa that will expire soon and I would like to renew it. Do I need go through the whole visa application process again?

A: Yes, you will have to go through the whole visa application process each time you want to apply for a visa, even if your visa is still valid. There are some situations where a visa applicant may not need to be interviewed when renewing his/her visa. See the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for more information.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert, I simply googled the information.

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