Traveling abroad? Be sure to plan ahead!

If you are a current F-1 or J-1 student planning to travel abroad, be sure to carry the following documentation with you when you request reentry into the United States.

All F-1 and J-1 visa holders:
  • A valid passport, with at least 6 months of validity* remaining
  • A valid F-1 or J-1 visa*
    • *Exception: If you are a Canadian citizen, you will not have a visa stamp in your passport.
  • A copy of your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt (printable from the I-901 fee website)
  • An updated I-20 form or DS-2019 form with a travel signature less than one year old
  • Please be aware that you can also be asked for proof of your school funding (i.e. copy of your financial aid award) as well as proof of your enrollment (i.e. copy of admissions offer, letter from the registrar, etc.).
F-1 visa holders on active Post-Completion or STEM Extension OPT:
  • A valid passport, with at least 6 months of validity remaining
  • A valid F-1 visa*
    • *Exception: If you are a Canadian citizen, you will not have a visa stamp in your passport.
  • A copy of your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt (printable from the I-901 fee website)
  • An OPT I-20 (showing an OPT status of Requested, Pending, or Approved on page 2) with a travel signature less than six months old
  • Proof of employment (letter from your supervisor or Human Resources office, contract, etc.)
  • Recommeneded: A valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)

 

If you encounter any issues entering the US in F-1/J-1 status, call the CISE (413-542-2612). Outside of regular business hours, call ACPD (413-542-2291) to be connected with CISE advising staff.

 

Please note that leaving and reentering the US after graduation while an OPT application is pending with the USCIS, or if you are unemployed, can be risky. If you are in this situation and need to travel abroad, please consult with the CISE.

Failure to have the proper documentation with you can result in you being denied reentry into the US or you being granted temporary, conditional entry with a Form I-515A.