Lost old passport with F1 stamp - F1 restamping on new passport while on OPT (STEM ext.) ? Is travelling worth the risk?

I graduated in May 2014 with my Masters in Mech/Aero and have been working for a well known Mechanical Engineering Co. ever since. I am currently on STEM extension (recently received my extension EAD) .

In March 2014 – just before my H1B petition was filed – I lost my passport with the F1 stamp ( long story short, I got mugged and there is a police report/case no. about the incident) . Immediately thereafter, I got a new passport from the Indian consulate in Chicago , and informed both the USCIS and the US embassy -which had originally granted the visa- about the incident ;so that they could update their records with the new passport # ,and prevent misuse of that particular visa.

I haven’t left the US ever since – but now I absolutely have to fly back to India this December for an important family occasion. Naturally , I will have to get an F1 stamped on my new passport and go through the whole process again (interview/stamping, etc – do correct me if I’m wrong and if there is an alternative). Now, even though I’m on OPT STEM extension and this incident has not affected the OPT applications in the past – I am concerned it can have an impact on the re-stamping of the F1 visa – specially since :

  1. I have already graduated

  2. An H1B petition was filed twice by my employer - H1B has dual intent compared to F1 (also both the times it did not get selected)

Will these 2 factors lead to a “conflict of interest” and hamper my chances of getting an F1 stamped again?

What would be the recommended measures and precautions to take to minimize a denial?

Is there any alternative at all? Can I get a visa interview waiver?

If it’s not worth the risk to travel outside the country - I may cancel my travel plans.

Looking forward to some guidance/insight!

Well, Visa stamping is a very tricky thing and depends on various factors. I am not sure, if you are eligible for dropbox, if you visa was expired or valid within 48 months, then you may be eligible. Check USTravelDocs for eligibility.

If you do not have any choice and have to travel, make sure you have all the documents with you. Carry with you all the documents from Employer, your DSO, paystubs, etc.

Lets, think of it logically, F1 visa is given typically for studying and in your case, you do not have any studies left, you are working now on OPT. Also, you have tried H1B twice, your luck did not favor you there…In my personal view, it is risk…make an informed decision.

Thank you for your response.

From an old email correspondence(last year)with US travel Docs I had received the response :

“…With regards to your query, we would like to inform you that, if the applicants have lost their passport with a valid visa, then they need to apply for a new visa based on their purpose of travel by scheduling both the appointments (VAC and Visa interview) as a regular process.”

So, I don’t think that I’m eligible for the drop-box but I’ll confirm again.

I agree that it is a potential risk - although the task of going through the whole process for a lost/stolen F-1 visa is cumbersome not exactly the right thing to ask but it’s the system .

Can I know more about what happened, I am in a similar situation

It would be great if we could get a steps that you took and what you did to get the visa stamped


Can you share your experience while you went on visa stamping while on OPT stem extension. I am planning to visit to get the stamping done.

Hi I’m in a similar situation. Did you guys successfully get your visa stamped in India? Need help with this

So did you get the visa? I’m in a similar situation