Travel Information

Travel Checklist

  • Make sure that you and any dependents are traveling with a valid SEVIS I-20 signed within the last 12 months or SEVIS DS-2019 signed within the past twelve months. The primary student/scholar and each dependent must possess their own signed immigration document.
  • Make certain that your passport is valid at least six months into the future and your visa stamp is valid with multiple entries. Passport renewal information can be found on The State Department webpage.
  • Travel to another country other than your home country may require an entry visa. This information can be found at www.travel.state.gov/visa/reciprocity/index. Please verify this before departure. If you are visiting Canada, please view the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for important visa requirement information.
  • Review your visa. If you decide to travel and your visa is expired (you can stay in the U.S. with an expired visa), you will need to apply for a new visa before being allowed to return to the US. It would be best that you obtain an appointment with the American Embassy to apply for your visa prior to leaving the U.S. You may review the US Embassy Consular website in your country at the Department of State website.
  • There have been an increased number of visa applicants that have been required to under go a Security Advisory Opinion (SAO). View the following websites to obtain additional information on SAO’s and other topics: travel.state.gov or www.state.gov/travel.
  • When traveling outside the US, you should take a current I-20 or DS2019, updated financial statement or departmental letter indicating receipt of graduate assistantship, fellowship or employment and proof of registration for the upcoming semester.
  • Canadian students crossing the border either by car or plane should present their I-20 at the border and make certain that your I-20 is stamped and you receive an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Upon initial entry, be prepared to present proof of financial support. No United States visa is necessary for Canadian citizens.
  • Optional Practical Training. If you are on optional practical training, you must travel with an I-20 signed within the last six months, your Employment Authorization Document and a letter from your employer. We do not recommend that you travel while on OPT if you are not employed. Port of Entry personnel are now requiring an employer letter indicating proof of employment.

Temporary Departure

  • Make sure that you and any dependents are traveling with a valid SEVIS I-20 signed within the last 12 months or SEVIS DS-2019 signed within the past twelve months. The primary student/scholar and each dependent must possess their own signed immigration document.
  • Make certain that your passport is valid at least six months into the future and your visa stamp is valid with multiple entries. Passport renewal information can be found on The State Department webpage.
  • Travel to another country other than your home country may require an entry visa. This information can be found at Travel.State.Gov . Please verify this before departure. If you are visiting Canada, please view the website Citizenship and Immigration Canada for important visa requirement information.
  • Review your visa. If you decide to travel and your visa is expired (you can stay in the U.S. with an expired visa), you will need to apply for a new visa before being allowed to return to the U.S. It would be best if you obtain an appointment with the American Embassy to apply for your visa prior to leaving the U.S. You may review the U.S. Embassy Consular website in your country at the The State Department webpage.
  • There have been an increased number of visa applicants that have been required to undergo a Security Advisory Opinion (SAO). View the following websites to obtain additional information on SAO’s and other topics: travel.state.gov or www.state.gov/travel.
  • When traveling outside the U.S., you should take a current I-20 or DS-2019, updated financial statement or departmental letter indicating receipt of graduate assistantship, fellowship or employment and proof of registration for the upcoming semester.
  • Canadian students crossing the border either by car or plane should present their I-20 at the border and make certain that your I-20 is stamped and you receive an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Upon initial entry, be prepared to present proof of financial support. No United States visa is necessary for Canadian citizens.
  • Optional Practical Training. If you are on optional practical training, you must travel with an I-20 signed within the last six months, your Employment Authorization Document and a letter from your employer. We do not recommend that you travel while on OPT if you are not employed. Port of Entry personnel are now requiring an employer letter indicating proof of employment.