Travel Outside the U.S.

A travel signature is a required endorsement on page 3 of an I-20 or page 1 of a DS-2019 which allows continuing students or their dependents to reenter the U.S. upon return from a trip abroad.  A travel signature does not apply to students who take a leave of absence and reenter the U.S. with a brand new I-20.  Please be advised you must provide ISS with a Travel Request Form each time you travel, even if your previously obtained travel signature is still valid.  Apply for a travel signature at least two weeks before you plan to travel.

Application Procedure

With a Valid F-1 or J-1 Visa:

  • Visit myUB, select Travel Signature Request Form under University Forms; fill out, print and sign the form.
  • Pre-register for next semester.
  • No overdue balance.
  • No holds on your account.
  • The validity of your passport must be six months or more from the date you will return.
  • Drop off your original form I-20 or DS-2019 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.

With an Expired F-1 or J-1 Visa:

  • All of the above AND:
  • Apply for an Official Transcript through WebAdvisor.
  • Apply for an Enrollment Verification Letter through WebAdvisor (if needed by your consulate/embassy for visa application).

Please note:

  • Check the website of the U.S. consulate/embassy you wish to visit for updated information on the visa application process.
  • 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

Carry The Following Documents With You When Traveling:

  • Valid passport.
  • Original form I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature.  If you have more than one form, carry all forms.
  • Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
  • Copies of current semester registration and pre-registration for next semester.
  • For F-1 or J-1 visa application, in addition to what is mentioned above, please carry:
      • Official transcript.
      • Enrollment Verification Letter (if required by consulate or embassy for visa application).
      • Evidence you have paid tuition and fees (Bursar’s receipt).
      • School ID card with current semester sticker.

Be Sure Your Passport is Valid Prior to Travel, and if Expired:

  • Check the website of your home country’s appropriate government office for application information.
  • Allow extra processing time if you need to extend your passport.

Travel During OPT

Please visit 12-month OPT Responsibilities page for traveling during 12-month OPT and 17-month OPT Responsibilities page for traveling during 17-month OPT extension.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Can you reenter the U.S. with an expired visa? For further information, please visit Automatic Revalidation or consult an International Student Advisor.

Health Alert

Prior to leaving the U.S., please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Page for travel advisories, vaccine preventable illnesses, and other health-related resources.

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 report in person to ISS promptly. For reporting, bring your passport and a copy of your electronic I-94 printed from Make sure your I-94 record shows your appropriate status F-1 (if you have an I-20) or J-1 (if you have a DS2019), and D/S (Duration of Status). Students who travel during winter or summer vacation are required to report to ISS no later than the first day of the semester. Your travel hold will be lifted once you report to ISS. Failure to report on time will lead to SEVIS termination.

Travel Inside the 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.

Visiting Canada

To learn whether you need a tourist visa to visit Canada, please visit the website of the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

In general, many F-1/J-1 students, and their F-2/J-2 dependents, may travel to Canada and come back within thirty days or less even if their F-1/J-1 or F-2/J-2 visa is expired. There are important limits and exceptions.  Please visit Automatic Revalidation to see if you are eligible for it.

Remember that travel to Canada or any other country requires you to have certain documents to come back.

For More Help

For more assistance, please make an appointment to speak with an advisor at:

  • International Student Services
  • Wahlstrom Library, Rom G-133
  • Phone: (203) 576-4395
  • Email:

Emergency 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 International Student Services between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday – Friday.