Travel Outside the U.S. and Re-entry to the U.S.
In the past few years, there have been a number of changes that may affect international students and scholars who plan to leave and re-enter the United States. The U.S. Department of State and the Customs and Border Protection bureau of Department of Homeland Security have increased the level of review that international visitors face at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, at airports, and at border crossing posts with Canada and Mexico.
If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you will need to be aware of important immigration and security regulations to ensure that you can leave and re-enter the U.S.
Prior to travelling abroad you should check the validity of your visa stamp in your passport to confirm that it is valid for re-entry to the U.S.
All F-1 & J-1 internationals are required to obtain a travel signature in order to return to the U.S. For F-1 students and J-1 students and research scholars, the signature is valid for one year or until the I-20 or DS-2019 expires, which ever is earlier. For J-1 short-term scholars, the signature is valid for 6 months or until the DS-2019 expires, which ever is earlier. During OPT, the signature is valid for 6 months. Please stop by the OIS during walk-in advising hours with the I-20 or DS-2019 to obtain a travel signature.
Want to Talk with an Expert?
Walk In Hours
- Mon & Wed, 1-4pm
- Tue & Thur, 9am-12pm
Walk in advising is for F-1 and J-1 questions that can be answered in ten minutes or less. For other questions, please call 410-955-3372 to make an appointment.
Summary of Visa Types, Uses & Limitations
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