Reentry to the United States

Information for F-1 International Students

The link for the Travel Request is found at the bottom of this page.
To obtain a Travel Signature from your DSO you must fill out this request.

International Students who are maintaining their status, and are reentering the United States after a temporary absence of less than five months, must present at the Port of Entry (POE):

  • The most current and valid SEVIS I-20 Form, properly endorsed for travel with Designated School Official signature on page 3. It is best if the signature is dated four (4) months or less.
  • A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry
  • A valid F-1 student visa
  • Bringing your most recent I-94 card will facilitate your reentry, if reentering through a land POE. If you are flying, the airline will collect your I-94 prior to departure and you will complete a new one upon reentry.
  • Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses

In addition to the above documents, if you are engaging in post-completion OPT, you need to carry your:

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card
  • Proof of employment letter
  • I-797, Notice of Action

Remember to always keep your documents readily at hand.

It is highly advised not to travel if:

  • you have any adjustment or change of status applications pending
  • you have an expired F-1 visa or one that will expire on or before your return date
  • you have an expired passport
  • your post-completion OPT has been approved, but you do not have a job or a written job offer.

 However, as each person’s individual circumstances differ, and the above information is not exhaustive, you may wish to contact your embassy, consulate, or legal counsel for further assistance to determine whether it is appropriate to travel. Please remember that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the Port of Entry (POE) decides whether or not nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States.  

Keep in mind that once you leave, there is no guarantee that you will be readmitted to the United States.  Also, if you do not return before five months, you will automatically be out of status.

For more information on reentry visit this government website