Should I Let My DSO Know That I am Traveling?

Yes! Your Designated School Official (DSO), may want to provide you a travel signature on your I-20, and may have specific advice and concerns to share with you about your transit countries or countries of destination. You may also need to renew your visa while abroad and your DSO will help you prepare.

Please also visit this SEVIS page for more information about F-1s traveling outside the United States

If I Leave the U.S., What Documents Should I Have in Order to Return?

You’ll need:

  • a passport valid at least 6 months after your planned re-entry
  • a valid visa
  • a valid I-20 or DS-2019 with a recent travel signature

See Study in the States – Welcome Back for more information

How can I Prove that I Entered the U.S. Legally?

The I-94 is the record of legal admission to the U.S. You need a paper receipt of your I-94 record to apply for a Social Security number or a Driver’s License. Go to the Customs and Border Protection website to print a copy.

I Heard There are Special Rules for Traveling to the Bahamas. How Can I Find Out More?

Check out this page with detailed information on travel to Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands.

Where Can I Find More Information About the Automatic Revalidation of Visas?

Customs and Border Protection has detailed information about reentering the U.S. on an expired visa after visiting Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands (other than Cuba). Please visit the site for more information on reentering with an expired visa.

Can I Travel Outside the U.S. While My OPT Application is Pending?

The OIE strongly advises against traveling outside the U.S while your OPT application is pending. You must have your EAD (Employment Authorization Document) to re-enter the country, but USCIS will only mail your EAD to a U.S. address. Leaving the country while your application is pending can be viewed as an abandonment of your petition.

Important Travel Links

The Transportation Security Administration provides security screenings at airports. Their website will provide information about the screening process and items that you can and cannot bring with you.

Customs and Border Protection is the law enforcement agency responsible for border management, including customs and immigration. Its website has information for international travelers.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traveler’s Health page has useful advice about recommended vaccines for your country of destination.

Be sure to visit the Embassy or Consulate page of your transit countries and countries of destination to determine whether you need a visa for entry.