Travel for F-1 Students
Documentation Required for Travel and Reentry for F-1 Active Students:
F-1 students, who wish to travel into any country other than their home country, must check with the Embassy of the country they would like to visit to inquire about specific entry procedures.
An F-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence (vacations or school breaks) must submit the following documents at the port of entry:
- A valid passport
- A valid visa
- A current I-20 Form signed by the International Student Analyst/DSO for re-entry within the preceding six months. F-2 dependents must bring their I-20 form for travel signature.
- If a student has transferred schools in the U.S., an F-1 student may re-enter with an unexpired F-1 visa and Form I-20 from the new school without having the new school’s name annotated on the visa.
Documentation Required for Travel for Students on Optional Practical Training:
An F-1 student who is engaged in OPT following completion of studies who travels outside the U.S. temporarily (less than 5 months) can be readmitted to resume employment for the remainder of the period on his or her EAD card, provided the student is returning to resume employment and presents:
- Form I-20 signed by the DSO within the preceding 6 months
- An unexpired EAD
If the students OPT has been approved and they depart before they get a job, their OPT ends and they cannot re-enter. It is advisable to have a job offer letter to present at port of entry.
Departure and Reentry While OPT is Pending:
If an F-1 student needs to travel temporarily while OPT application is in pending status, the student may present the I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797) as a proof of eligibility for visa and re-entry to the U.S.