I have a valid F-1 visa (issued by the US Consulate) from attending my previous school, do I need to apply for a new visa at the US Consulate before starting at MIT?

I have a valid F-1 visa (issued by the US Consulate) from attending my previous school, do I need to apply for a new visa at the US Consulate before starting at MIT?

The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have indicated that a student who has a valid F-1 visa in their passport from pursuit of a previous degree in the U.S. can use that visa to enter the U.S. in F-1 status to begin their program of study at MIT.  Students are advised that they must carry with them all previously issued Forms I-20 to show that the previous visa was used for study at the previous institution (this is due to that in the “Annotation” section of the visa the previous school and possibly a previous SEVIS ID Number for that previous program would be listed and not MIT). 

A student could choose to apply for a new F-1 visa at the US Consulate, showing their new MIT program information and Form I-20,  if the previous visa would be expiring soon after the start of their MIT program of study.

NOTE: The information above would also apply to students who would be entering the U.S. in J-1 Exchange Visitor (student category) status for the program at MIT if they have a J-1 visa from a previous student category program that is still valid in their passport. 

An individual may not use a previously valid F-1 visa to enter the U.S. in J-1 status — the visa and the status document must be the same.