Travel & Re-Entry


Get a travel signature from ISSS prior to international travel!

  • You must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 form to return to the U.S. after travel abroad.
  • Each signature is valid for one year. (F1 students on OPT: the travel signature is valid for six months).
  • A travel signature is issued by an advisor in ISSS to confirm that you are maintaining your F1 or J1 student status.
  • If your current travel signature will expire before you return to the U.S., you must request an updated travel signature
  • The travel signature is on page 2 of your I-20 form or the front page of your DS-2019 form.

When you travel outside the United States, the following documents will be needed to re-enter the U.S. and may be requested by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the port of entry.

Documents to carry when you return to the U.S.:

  1. Valid I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature endorsed by ISSSpassport and visa
  2. Passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date your will return to the U.S.
  3. Valid F-1 or J-1 visa Note: Canadian students do not need a visa
  4. Proof of SEVIS I-901 fee payment
  5. Proof of financial support (this may include personal or family bank statements and/or copies of your scholarship letter
  6. Proof of Enrollment (copy of next semester schedule, unofficial transcript)
  7. EAD card and letter of employment (if on OPT)

Travel within the U.S.:

DHS regulations require that you have your valid passport with you at all times. It is also suggested that you travel with your original I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 record. Although this may not always be practical, we do encourage you to have these documents with you whenever you travel off-campus and especially for air travel.

Travel without Required Documents

Missing documents the last time you entered the US? Find out what to do now if you received an I-515A at the border.

Replace Lost Immigration Documents

Lose your passport, I-20, or DS-2019? Find out how to replace them.

I-94 Arrival & Departure Record

Information on your arrival and departure record in the U.S.

Renew Your US Visa

Is your visa about to expire? Find out how to get a new one.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020


Have you been sent to additional screening at the airport when re-entering the U.S.? Have you been denied or delayed entry? If you've had problems entering the U.S., you may file an inquiry using DHS trip, a service of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).