Travel & Re-Entry Documents

Travel Signature

If you will travel outside of the US, you must have a valid travel signature. Verify if your I-20 has a valid travel signature by reviewing page 3 of your I-20. Your travel signature is valid for one year. If the signature is older than 12 months then you must receive a new travel signature before you depart the U.S. DS-2019's will be signed by your sponsoring program or a DSO in International Engagement. We strongly recommend that you carry a valid passport, I-94 card (to retrieve electronic I-94, click here, and evidence of financial support to demonstrate at the port of entry.


Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon initial entry or re-entry to the U.S.

Evidence of Financial Support

It is strongly recommended that F and J students carry proof of the financial support and resources reflected on the Form I-20 or DS-2019.

U.S. Visa

The visa should be valid on the date of your return to the U.S. It does not, however, need to remain valid during your stay in the U.S. If you have an expired F-1/J-1 visa, you do not need to get a new visa as long as you have a valid I-20/DS-2019 and you do not travel outside of the U.S.

Students on OPT

It is not recommended that you travel before your OPT is approved. Traveling out of the country before it is approved can be viewed as abandonment of your application. If your OPT application is pending and you must travel out of the country, you may be denied entry into the US. If your OPT is approved you must have the following at the port of entry.

If you exceed the limits on unemployment while outside the US, you will not be eligible for reentry in F-1 status. You are allowed 90 days of unemployment while on OPT. Your OPT application can take up 90 days for a decision to be made on your request.

Travel while on STEM Extension 

Required documents to re-enter the U.S. while on STEM extension:

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