Travel (Within and Outside the United States)

Always make an appointment with the Office of International Education at least two weeks in advance of traveling outside the United States. Emergency travel needs are handled at any time. Before leaving the United States, be sure you have all the documents you need for reentry:
  • Have your I-20 signed by the international student adviser or any other ASC Designated School Officer (DSO); the DS-2019 is to be signed by your program sponsor.
  • Verify that the information on your I-20 or DS-2019 is still accurate.
  • Check your U.S. entry visa (stamped on your passport) to be sure it is still valid for additional entries. If not, a new visa must be obtained at a U. S. consulate or embassy while out of the country. You cannot obtain a new F-1 visa while in the United States. If you are traveling to a country other than your own, contact that country’s embassy or consulate to obtain an entry visa, if required.
  • Obtain an official copy of your transcript, if you will need to renew your U.S. student visa.
Travel Inside the United States
It is recommended that international students carry photocopies of their Form I-94, Form I-20/DS-2019, and the biographical page of their passport with them when traveling. 

Travel Outside the United States
Travel outside of the United States is recommended only if you have all documents related to your immigration status in order prior to departure. These documents include:
  • Passport – You must carry a passport that will be valid for re-entry to the United States. The passport should be valid for six months beyond the date of return to the United States.
  • Valid U.S. Visa Stamp – Citizens of all countries except Canada are required to have a valid U.S. visa stamp in their passports to reenter the U.S. You should use the appropriate visa related to your current activities. Use of a visitor or tourist visa should not be used for re-entry into the U.S. during your program of study or you may jeopardize your student status. If your student visa will not be valid at the time of re-entry to the U.S., you will need to apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy for a new visa before your return. A list of U.S. consulates abroad can be found at the following link: usembassy.state.gov. (See the “Renewing a Visa” section for more information.)
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 – The Form I-20/DS-2019 must be current and have a signature valid for travel and re-entry. F-1 travel signatures are valid for one year for current students and six months for students on Optional Practical Training (OPT). J-1 travel signatures are valid for the entire period of stay, up to one year as indicated on the Form DS-2019. In order to obtain a travel signature you must drop off your most recent and original Form I-20/DS-2019 and a copy of your Form I-94 to the OIE at least 48 hours in advance of the intended travel date.
  • Proof of Financial Support – At the port of entry, proof of financial support may be requested. You should carry documents supporting the source and amount of financial support indicated on the Form I-20/DS-2019.