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Passport Validity

Your passport should remain valid while you are in the United States.  Contact your home country's Consul General or Embassy to renew your passport.

Travel within the United States

We recommend that you carry your immigration documents (passport, I-20 or DS 2019, or H, O, TN, or E approval notice) when travelling within the United States.  This is particularly important when you are travelling in a state that borders Mexico or Canada.

Travel Outside the United States and Subsequent Re-Entry

If you plan to travel abroad and re-enter the United States, you will need:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid and appropriate U.S. visa (if required)
  • Valid immigration documents, such as an I-20, DS-2019, or H,O, TN, E approval notice
  • Valid travel signature from your international advisor for F and J status (signature on I-20 or DS-2019 should be less than 12 months old)


Upon your return to the United States, you will be able to access your electronic I-94.  We strongly recommend that you review your I-94 after each reentry to ensure that you were properly admitted to the United States. 

If you are admitted in F-1 or J-1 status, your I-94 should indicate an "Admit Until Date" of "D/S."  I-94s for other statuses should show a specific date (MM/DD/YYYY). 

If you find an error on your I-94, or if you cannot retrieve your I-94, contact your international advisor for assistance

Emergency Travel

In the event you must leave the United States unexpectedly, please try your best to bring your immigration documents with you.  You may always leave the country but you will need certain documents to reenter, as described above.  If you require assistance with obtaining documents, such as an original approval notice, travel signature etc., please contact your international advisor for assistance. 

Travel Signatures

If you were unable to obtain a travel signature before your departure, please know that you will still be allowed to return to the United States, providing you have a valid passport, a valid and appropriate visa, and that the end date has not passed on your I-20 or DS-2019.  If you do not have a valid travel signature, the immigration official may ask you to go through "secondary inspection" and/or may give you Form I-515 to be completed and returned to the appropriate immigration office.  Please consult your international advisor if you are given an I-515.  While this is an inconvenience, it is not a disaster.  You may miss your connecting flight, but you will still be permitted to enter the United States.

Alternatively, if you did not obtain a signature before you left the United States and if you will be outside the country for a period of time, we may be able to re-print your I-20 or DS-2019, sign it, and send you the new document. 

When Should You Not Travel Outside the United States?

If you have a change of status pending or when you are filing an I-485 adjustment of status application, consult with your international advisor for details for your particular case.

Travel to Other Countries

When traveling to a third country (other than your home country or the United States), remember that a new set of laws will be in effect. You may need a visa to enter that country. To learn more about visa requirements, contact the country’s closest Consul General or Embassy in the United States.