When traveling abroad in F-1 or J-1 visa status, prepare for re-entry to the U.S. before you travel!
Your passport should be valid for six months beyond your date of entry to the U.S. and must always be valid while studying in the U.S.
Valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp
- Your F-1 or J-1 visa stamp must be valid on the date you enter the U.S.
- Check the expiration date of your visa
- Check the number of entries allowed on your visa (Multiple, 1, 2 etc.)
- If you changed your status to F-1 or J-1 while in the U.S. and travel abroad you will need to apply for a new visa before re-entry to the U.S.
Do I need a signature on my SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 before travel?
- F-1 and J-1 students and scholars and F-2 and J-2 dependents need current travel signatures/endorsements from ISS prior to travel.
- A travel signature/endorsement indicates that you are maintaining lawful F-1/F-2 or J-1/J-2 status at the time of signature. This is one of the items that CBP officers will use to establish your eligibility to re-enter the U.S. Review the rules to maintaining lawful status before you travel. If you have any questions, please see your ISS advisor.
- Request your travel signature at least 3 business days prior to your planned departure.
- Request your travel signature by completing the ISS Travel Signature/Reprint form.
Additional travel documentation
Be prepared to discuss your means of financial support, educational and immigration history when you present at U.S. ports of entry. The following documents help to establish your legitimate reason for re-entry to the U.S. More detailed information may be found at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 fee. You can find and print your receipt at the DHS website.
- Recently issued financial support documents.
- ISS letter confirming lawful F-1 or J-1 status (request one week before your trip). See the ISS Document Requests page for instructions.
- DePaul University Student ID card.
- DePaul Transcript showing your course history. Official transcripts may be requested through DePaul Central Records.
Current address and contact information in Campus Connection
- The first rule to maintaining lawful immigration status is to ensure that your addresses and contact information are current in Campus Connection.
- Any changes to your address, telephone number or email address should be reported within 10 days of any change.
- Your updated information in Campus Connection will be sent to SEVIS by ISS. Always be sure that your information is up to date before you travel.
- Your addresses and contact information may be verified by CPB at the port of entry. Any discrepancies or outdated information could be considered a violation of your lawful status
- Please log into Campus Connection to make sure the following contact information is current:
- Home and mailing address in the Chicago area
- Permanent address in your home country
- Local phone number
- E-mail address
- Emergency contact information
Upon return to Chicago
Please verify that your I-94 admission record has been accurately updated with your most recent date of entry and your immigration status (F-1 or J-1 for D/S "duration of stay") by U.S. Customs and Border Protection by logging into the CBP I-94 website
. You may also print a copy of your most recent I-94 or travel history from the CBP site. Please see your ISS advisor if you observe an error or are unable to access your most recent I-94 record.
Special travel circumstances; when should I see my ISS advisor?
Please see your ISS Advisor prior to travel if:
- You will travel after applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- You will travel during your period of authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- Your F-1 or J-1 visa stamp will expire before you return to the U.S.
- You will be outside the U.S. for more than 5 months, you are currently in violation of your F-1 or J-1 visa status, or your SEVIS record has been terminated by ISS.
- Your travel includes/relates to a study abroad program.
- You are planning a brief trip to Canada, Mexico or certain islands in the Caribbean and have an expired F-1 or J-1 visa stamp. You may be eligible for Automatic Visa Revalidation. More information may be found at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Travel Restrictions
On June 26, 2018, the United States Supreme Court upheld the current administration’s strongly contested travel ban, affecting citizens of seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued Proclamation 9645 (Travel Ban 3.0) designating eight countries for partial or full restrictions on entry to the United States. The restrictions are country-specific with specific provisions for each impacted country. The eight countries subject to the Proclamation are: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. Chad was later removed from the list on April 10, 2018.
for more historical information on the contested travel ban.