Students and scholars wishing to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status after travel abroad will require all of the following:
- A travel signature by International Student, Scholar and Faculty Services (ISSFS) on Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. F-1’s must have a travel signature within 6 months of the time in which their travel and return occurs (every semester if necessary). J-1’s must have a travel signature within 1 year of their travel/return.
- A valid visa stamp (see exceptions in the visa section).
- A valid passport (see the Department of State for exceptions).
Additionally, students returning to the U.S. after filing for or obtaining post-completion optional practical training employment authorization should be prepared to present evidence of their OPT and a job offer letter.
Dependents wishing to return to the U.S. in F-2 or J-2 status must comply with the same conditions including a travel signature on their own I-20 or DS-2019.
Students and scholars in F-1 or J-1 status should visit the ISSFS to obtain a travel endorsement on Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 approximately two weeks before any planned travel abroad. When applying for a travel endorsement, you must submit all of the following:
- Your current Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (and forms of any traveling family members)
- Travel Request Form
- Evidence of medical insurance (also for any traveling family members)
- Valid passport (and passports of any traveling family members)