Travel and Visa Renewal

Individuals in F-1 or J-1 status should ensure they have all required documents when re-entering the U.S.

Documents Needed to Re-Enter the U.S.

  • Passport—Valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon entry to the U.S.
  • Valid Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS-2019 (J-1)—With a travel signature that is valid on the date you enter the U.S. Each travel signature on your Form I-20 (page 2) or DS-2019 (page 1) is valid for one year. A more current travel signature is needed only if you will be applying for a new F-1 or J-1 entry visa while you are outside the U.S.
    • Visit the Glavin Office for a travel signature during our weekly Walk-In Advising Hours (or drop it off for 24-hour processing).
    • Bring your most recently-issued Form I-20/DS-2019 and those for any dependents traveling with you.
    • If you are away from campus, you may mail your original Form I-20/Form DS-2019  to the Glav​in Office and have it mailed back.
  • F-1 or J-1 entry visa—Valid on the date of your return to the U.S. (it does not need to remain valid during your stay in the U.S.). If you have an expired passport with a valid U.S. entry visa, you do not need to get a new visa stamp in your new passport as long as you carry both passports when you enter the U.S.
  • Current academic transcript or enrollment letter (recommended)—Available from the Registrar’s Office.
  • Original funding documents—Personal bank statement or letter of financial support from your sponsor. All financial documents should be less than one year old.

F-1 Students Engaged in Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) must carry:

  • A valid Employment Authorization Card (EAC)
  • Proof of current employment or a job offer letter
  • Valid Form I-20 with a current travel signature (less than six months old)

J-1 students engaged in post-completion Academic Training must carry:

  • An Academic Training letter from the Glavin Office
  • Proof of current employment
  • Valid Form DS-2019 with a current travel signature (less than six months old)

Delayed Entry into the U.S.

Recently, individuals, especially those on OPT, have reported delays in entering the U.S. and being sent into what is commonly referred to as "Secondary Inspection". Multiple schools from around the U.S. have reported this issue and liaison assistance has been requested. If you have experienced delayed entry on more than one occassion while traveling to the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student, you may submit a DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry to resolve your difficulties.

Entering in Tourist Status

Students should NEVER enter the U.S. in tourist immigration status. If your I-94 does not indicate “F-1, D/S” or “J-1, D/S”, visit the Glavin Office for guidance.

*All students must request F-1/J-1 status and present Form I-20/DS-2019 to the immigration inspector at the U.S. port of entry. ALWAYS check your  I-94 to ensure that it was properly notated with “F-1” or “J-1” and “D/S”.