Helpful Hints for Travel
Travel Outside the U.S.
1. Have your I-20 or DS-2019 form signed on page 3 by the International Student Services
- please ask for this at least 2 weeks before you plan to travel
- your travel signature should be no older than 6 months for F-1 students or 1 year for J-1 students
- no appointment is needed to request a travel signature; just drop off your I-20 or DS-2019 form to the International Student Services. You will receive an e-mail when your document is ready to be picked up.
- Visit myUB, select Travel Signature Request Form under Forms Library; Fill out the form and print it
- Pre-register for next semester
- No overdue balance
- No holds on your account
- No early departure or late arrival is permitted
- Apply for an Enrollment Verification Letter through WebAdvisor if you need to apply for a new visa
- Drop off your original I-20 or DS-2019 form and the Travel Signature Request Form to International Student Services. You will receive an e-mail when your document is ready to be picked up
2. Check your F-1 or J-1 visa before leaving. If expired:
- allow extra time for visa processing if your current visa is expired. Remember that there is never a guarantee that a visa will be issued a second time or that a visa will be issued after a change of status is approved. There is no way to completely eliminate the risk of a visa refusal.
- check the web site of the U.S. consulate/embassy you wish to visit for updated information on applications (for example, many consulates are now requiring interviews instead of accepting applications by mail)
3. Be sure your passport is valid prior to travel and if expired:
- allow extra processing time if you need to extend your passport
- check the web site of your home country appropriate government office for application information
4. Carry with you the following documents:
- Passport (with a validity period of 6 months or more at all times)
- I-20 or DS-2019 form. If you have more than one form, carry all forms.
- For F-1 or J-1 visa application, in addition to what is mentioned above, please carry:
- official transcript (ask at the Registrar’s several weeks in advance of needing this)
- Bursar receipts, scholarship letter, or other proof of financial support
- copies of current semester registration and pre-registration for next semester
- school ID card with current semester sticker
- Enrollment Verification Letter from the International Student Services if you need to reapply for a visa or renew your passport
5. Please visit12-month OPT Responsibilities page for traveling during 12-month OPT and 17-month OPT Responsibilities page for traveling during 17-month OPT extension.
6. Automatic Visa Revalidation:Can you reenter the U.S. with a valid I-94 Form and expired visa? To answer this question, please visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f2.htm#_Toc81222014 or make an appointment with an International Student Advisor.
7. Reporting to ISS following travel abroad:
ISS is required by immigration to report your physical presence and enrollment through SEVIS. Each time you return from a trip abroad, please make sure to report in person to ISS promptly. For reporting, bring your passport and a copy of your I-94 printed from www.cbp.gov/I94 if your passport stamp does not show F-1 or J-1, D/S. Students who travel during winter or summer vacation are required to arrive in the U.S. no later than the day before the first day of a semester and report to ISS no later than the first day of a semester. Failure to report on time will lead to SEVIS termination.
Travel inside U.S.
- Special note for travel within the U.S.: be sure to carry with you identifying documents and proof of school enrollment even when traveling within the U.S.
In general, many F-1 students, and their F-2 dependents, may travel to Canada and come back even if their F-1 or F-2 visa is expired. There are important limits and exceptions.
Remember that travel to Canada or any other country requires you to have certain documents to come back.
For More Help
If you have an emergency situation after business hours (such as being detained at an airport) and need immediate help, please call the Campus Security Office at (203)576-4911 and request that the Director of International Student Services be called at home.
If help can wait until the next business day (such as a visa refusal), please call the International Student Services between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday.