Global Engagement > Student Resources > International Student & Scholar Services > Travel


​​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Preparing to Travel as an F-1 or J-1 Student Visa Holder 

  • Current, active or returning F-1 and J-1 students and scholars and F-2 and J-2 dependents need current travel signatures/endorsements from ISS prior to international travel. Each travel endorsement is valid for one year. 
  • 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 logging into the ISS Portal HERE and selecting Travel Signature under Student Requests.
  • 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 Any discrepancies or outdated information could be considered a violation of your lawful status 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

Your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond your date of entry to the U.S. Please also note that it is your responsibility to maintain a valid passport throughout your stay in the U.S.  

  • 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. 
Be prepared to discuss your means of financial support, educational and immigration history when you arrive 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 (ICE) website. 
  • Receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 fee. You can find and print your receipt at the DHS website.
  • Recently issued financial support documents. 
  • DePaul University Student ID card. 
  • DePaul Transcript showing your course history. Official transcripts may be requested through DePaul Central Records

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. 
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. 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented enhanced security procedures related to international travel carry-on items. There is no impact on domestic flights in the United States or flights departing the United States. Electronic devices will continue to be allowed on all flights originating from the United States. For a DHS fact sheet, please click HERE

International Student and Scholar Services (ISS) is open Monday-Friday, 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. 

ISS advisors will be able to provide you immigration and visa benefit advising and refer you to other university resources when needed. More information about ISS Advising services and how to schedule appointments can be found here: