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Travel Information

In this Section

Those here on F1 (student) or J1 (exchange visitor) can travel in and outside the United States throughout their time in status.

When travelling inside the United States - while not required - is strongly recommended that you carry your original immigration documents.

This will include:

    • Your valid passport
    • Your valid/expired F1/J1 visa
    • Your valid I-20/DS-2019 - please be sure to check the travel signature on your document.

When travelling outside the United States the following documents are needed to re-enter the U.S.:

    • Your valid passport with validity for at least 6 months into the future
    • Your valid F1/J1 visa (NOTE: you may qualify for automatic visa revalidation and be able to enter the country with an expired US visa)
    • Your valid I-20/DS-2019 - please be sure to check the travel signature on your document (must have been signed within the last 12 months)
    • A copy of your unofficial transcript - recommended 
    • Students on OPT must also carry their EAD card and/or receipt notice and your I20 must be signed every 6-months
      • Note to Students on OPT - Generally speaking you are free to travel while on OPT and even renew your visa if you have a job to return to or engage in. Caution should be exercised if you are travelling out of the U.S. while on OPT and you do not have a job - especially if you are nearing or have exceeded your 90/120-day unemployment limit. In practice - consular and port of entry officials have discretionary authority and have allowed entry to students on OPT who meet the documentation requirements for admission (I20 - passport - visa - and - EAD card)
      • Note to Students with 17-month STEM extension - students who have a pending 17-month STEM extension should wait until your application is approved and you have received your EAD card beofre travelling abroad.

It is highly recommended that you check the requirements for the country you are travelling to and be aware of any necessary visa requirements for that country.

Your Travel Signature

The travel signature on page 3 of your I-20 or page 1 of your DS-2019 covers all return travel to the U.S. for 12 months from the signature date. You do not need to get a new signature each time you travel. Failure to obtain a valid travel signature prior to travelling abroad could subject you to delays and/or barred re-entry to resume your F1 status. 

Note - Students on OPT must have their I20 signed every 6-months

To request a travel signature you should drop off (or mail in) your I-20 or DS-2019 to the front desk of Career & International Services. Please plan accordingly!

If you encounter problems at the U.S. border during regular office hours, please call 315-268-7970. After hours - please call Campus Safety at 315-268-6666 and they will contact someone from the ISSO.

Your I-94 Record (arrival/departure card)

All entries to the U.S. will create an arrival record and you will be issued an admission number or 'I-94'. This document/number is very important as it contains your admission number - visa type - date of arrival - and - the duration you are allowed to stay. You should be familiar with this number and review your I-94 to ensure you have properly entered the U.S. in your F/J visa status. 

NOTE - you can look up your I94 record and view your travel history at www.cbp.gov/I94