Information on Travel and Re-entry to the United States
*Non-Canadian international students in the United States who plan to travel outside of the U.S. should first check their visa their passport to make sure it is current. If it has expired, they will have to apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country and have it renewed before they would be allowed to return to the U.S., if they leave for any reason. Please set up an appointment with the PDSO/DSOs or RO/AROs to discuss a renewal visa one month before each semester ends.
*Note: Canadian citizens do not need a visa.
Before leaving the United States, non-Canadian international students must do the following:
Obtain a travel signature on Form I-20 or DS-2019 two weeks before departure from the PDSO or one of the DSOs on the second page of the I-20 (for F-1 and F-2 students), or RO or one of the AROs on the first page of the DS-2019 (for J-1 or J-2 students). Make sure the passport has not expired and that it will remain valid for at least six months before planning to re-enter the U.S.
Be sure the visa (the sticker with photo placed in the passport at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad) is valid and issued for the purpose for the individual is in the U.S.
Have evidence of financial support. - Travelers will very likely be asked for this information if crossing a border from Canada or Mexico, and possibly if flying into any port of entry from any country.
Steps to take if a visa is expired
The following documents are required for renewing a student visa:
Evidence of financial support. This can include the most recent bank statement, or if the student has a graduate assistantship, a letter from the department.
A new Form I-20/Form DS-2019 issued from Gallaudet.
Any I-20/DS-2019 previously issued by Gallaudet University and any other U.S. school attended before enrolling at Gallaudet.
Official college transcript from the Registrar's Office, http://www.gallaudet.edu/registrar/request-a-transcript.
Letter from the Registrar's Office certifying current enrollment, http://www.gallaudet.edu/Documents/Registrar/Forms/Certification_Verification_Request_Form_15_16.pdf. The deadline for requesting the letter is two weeks before departure.
Note: J-visa students whose DS-2019 was issued by another entity, such as the Institute of International Education, must contact the Responsible Officer whose information appears on the DS-2019 to get a new one.
Travel for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Please speak to one of the DSOs before travel if participating in OPT.
Travel with approved OPT:
Unexpired F-1 visa (except for Canadians).
I-20 with OPT recommendation and an unexpired travel signature (signature valid for six months when on OPT).
Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.
Letter from employer confirming a job or job offer in the U.S.
Payment statement or summary.
Important note to F-1 students who have applied for OPT and wish to travel:
If you have applied for OPT and have not yet received the EAD card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please be aware that leaving the U.S. before your OPT application has been processed may be considered by the USCIS to be abandonment of your application. Also, if you try to re-enter the U.S. and do not have your I-20 signed for travel within the last six months, or do not have your EAD card to show as proof that authorization has been granted, you may be denied entry to the U.S. You may wish to speak with one of the DSOs before proceeding with any travel plans. Please note that ISSS is not responsible for your travel; it is done at your own risk.
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