All international students and family members planning to depart from the U.S. and return after a temporary absence must have a valid passport in order to exit the U.S. At the time of re-entry, the passport must be valid for a minimum of six months into the future.
All international students* require a valid F-1 visa stamp in their passport issued by a U.S. embassy. A student cannot obtain or renew an F-1 visa stamp inside the U.S. If your visa stamp has expired, you will need to go to a U.S. embassy outside of the U.S. to apply for a new visa.
If you travel outside the U.S. while you are in F-1 status, your DSO must sign page 2 of your Form I-20. Your valid I-20 with a DSO’s signature confirms that you intend to maintain your F-1 status and are eligible to re-enter the U.S. This signature is valid for one year and is valid for multiple entries.
All nonimmigrants entering the U.S. on a sponsored visa have an I-94 record created by U.S. officials upon entry. It is the responsibility of international students to look up their I-94 record after entering the U.S. to ensure that there are no errors. F-1 students I-94 record should always indicate duration of status (D/S).
If you are planning to visit a country outside the U.S. which is not your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence, be sure to research whether or not you will need a visa to enter that country.
If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands for fewer than 30 days, you may be eligible for a visa renewal exemption.
*Canadian citizens do not require an F-1 visa stamp.
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