Reentry Into the United States
F-1 students will need their I-20 with a valid travel signature in order reenter the United States. I-20s were redesigned in 2015, and the new version was required by July 1, 2016. Please be sure that you have the new I-20 version prior to travel.
Your I-20 must be signed by a DSO before you leave the U.S. All students are required to obtain a travel signature that allows you to return to the U.S. This signature is valid for one year (12 months) after the signature date and can be used for multiple entries. Students who are on OPT must obtain a travel signature every 6 months.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months when seeking admission or readmission to the United States, unless your country has an agreement with the United States. The Immigration Customs Enforcement website has a list of countries under this agreement. Your passport must remain valid throughout your stay in the U.S.
Valid U.S. Visa
You must present a valid, unexpired visa in the category for which admission is being sought each time you enter the U.S. If your visa expires while you are in the U.S., the next time you travel abroad you must obtain a new visa in the proper category in order to be readmitted to the United States.
Current Class Schedule or Proof of Admission
You can print your current class schedule from your student account or by contacting the Office of the Registrar. For new students, you will need to bring a copy of proof of admission to Webber.
SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt
If you cannot find your SEVIS fee receipt, visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program SEVIS I-901 fee processing website to request a copy of your receipt.
Travel Within the United States
Federal law requires that you and your dependents carry “registration” documentation at all times. This includes a basic identity document such as a passport, plus your current I-20 and I-94 record. We recommend that you keep photocopies of all your documents in a separate location, in the event your documents are lost or stolen.
Entry Into Another Country
Before you leave the United States, contact the consulate of the country to be visited to inquire about visa and travel procedures.
Travel After Completion of Studies
If you do not apply for OPT, you have a 60-day grace period after the last day of your final semester. Once you leave the U.S. after completing your studies, you cannot reenter the U.S. with your current I-20. The grace period is for travel within the U.S. and preparation for departure.
Travel and OPT
We strongly discourage you from travelling outside of the United States while your OPT is pending. You are eligible to travel abroad on a temporary basis (less than 5 months) and reenter the U.S to continue employment AFTER your OPT has been approved.
If your post-completion OPT has been approved and your EAD issued, you may not reenter the U.S. unless you have evidence of employment. You should carry the following documents with you:
- I-20 signed for travel by a DSO within the last 6 months
- EAD card
- Valid passport
- Unexpired F-1 visa (unless returning from a short trip to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean)
- Evidence of employment in your field of study (letter of employment, written job offer, pay stubs)