- Documents Needed for Travel
- Applying for a F-1/J-1 Visa
- Automatic Revalidation
- I-515A Form
- US-VISIT Program
1. SEVIS I-20/ DS-2019 with a travel signature from an International Advisor endorsed within the past 12 months. The travel signature is valid for one year from the date it is endorsed or until the end of your program (whichever is shorter). You do NOT need to obtain a new signature each time you travel. One signature is valid for multiple trips in and out of the U.S. To obtain a signature for travel, you should come to ISSS during advising hours.
Travel signatures for students currently on F-1 OPT are only valid for 6 months
2. Passport valid for at least six months into the future. Expired passports can be renewed in the U.S..
3. Valid visa in your passport(Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). If your F-1/J-1 visa has expired, you must apply for a new visa from the U.S. consulate abroad, unless you are eligible for Automatic Revalidation(See section below). You CANNOT apply for a new visa within the U.S.
4. Form I-94 is the U.S. government Arrival/Departure record issued to international students who are admitted to the U.S. Generally at Customs, an officer attaches the I-94 to your passport upon your entry. Starting Mid-May 2013, Customs will be phasing out the issuance of physical I-94s at ports of entry in California(land border ports of entry will still issue physical I-94s). Students can access their I-94 print-out at www.cbp.gov/I94(live on 4/30/2013). For more information and updates on I-94, please visit the CBP I-94 webpage.
Note: students previously issued a paper form I-94 should still surrender it to their commercial carriers or Customs upon departure.
5. Financial documents showing necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
6. Proof SEVIS Fee payment recommended(especially for Canadian citizens): For more information on the SEVIS fee go to: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/
7. For new students: school admission letter and/or tuition fees receipts
For continued students: Proof of continued enrollment or transcripts recommended
8. Additional documents for students on post-completion OPT: EAD card plus letter of employment after OPT approval, or I-797 Notice of Action Receipt if OPT application is still pending. See an International Students Advisor at ISSS if you plan to travel while your OPT application is pending. Please also visit the Maintaining Status on OPT and OPT STEM Extension page for more information.
9. Additional documents for students on Post-completion AT: Properly endorsed DS-2019 with AT details and employment/internship letter.
If you need to renew or apply for a U.S. entry visa, expect delays. Plan ahead, as this may take longer than in the past. Because most visa applicants are now required to appear for a personal interview, you should expect processing delays. In addition, "security checks" can delay visa issuance by several weeks or months.
To find out the procedures of your F-1/ J-1 visa applications you will need to locate the U.S. embassy where you will apply for your visa, and review the information on its website.
General Visa application documents:
1.Online DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application
2.A valid passport
3.I-20/DS-2019 with proper signatures
4.Proof of funding as reflected on your I-20/DS-2019
5.Proof of continued enrollment or research
6.Documents that demonstrate ties to home country
7.Student pursuing post-completion training: Valid EAD and job offer or receipt notice if OPT is pending (OPT students); DS-2019 with AT details and employment/internship letter (AT students)
8.Additional documents required by the U.S. embassy/consulate in which you plan to apply for your visa.
Remember, the visa cannot be obtained from within the U.S. A valid visa is only needed when you are reentering the U.S. Once you are in the U.S., you do not need a valid visa stamp to remain in the U.S.
Automatic visa revalidation allows most F-1 and J-1 students to take a trip of fewer than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the U.S. (with the exception of Cuba) and reenter the U.S. on an expired visa provided you have proper documentation and have not applied for a new visa during the visit. This process revalidates your visa (making it eligible for the single trip), but does not renew it.
To find out whether you are eligible to use Automatic Revalidation, please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. You can also consult with an International Student Advisor at ISSS.
I-515A form is given to an F-1 or J-1 student if s/he does not present all the required documents when entering the U.S.., and is granted temporary admission at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection Officer. I-515A requires that F-1 and J-1 students submit documents listed on the form within 30 days to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). An I-94 will also be issued to the student with a limited validity period of 30 days from the date of issuance.
SEVP will terminate the SEVIS record of any F-1 student who does not comply with the Form I-515A directive within the 30-day response period. If SEVP does not receive the required documentation at the address provided on the I-515A by the I-94 expiration date, the student’s SEVIS record will be terminated on the next day, and s/he will be required to leave the U.S.. immediately.
If the student mails all the required original documents, including the I-94, to SEVP by the deadline, and SEVP approves his/her continued admission, SEVP will return the I-20, an amended or new I-94 for the normal duration of status (D/S) and a cover letter to ISSS. ISSS will then contact the student for a time to pick up the documents.
The US Visit Program uses biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) to record international visitors who hold non-immigrant visas at U.S. visa issuing posts and ports of entry. This program is intended to reduce fraud, identity theft, and the risk that terrorists and criminals will enter the United States undetected. For more information please visit US-VISIT.
For more travel guidelines, please visit the U.S.. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.