Traveling In the US
Regulations require you to keep your immigration documents with you at all times. This includes your passport, visa, I-20, and I-94. While in town you should be fine carrying photocopies of your documents. If you leave town, you should carry your original documents with you. Remember, if you fly, never put your documents in your check-in luggage.
Traveling outside of the US
We do not issue travel I-20’s. Your current I-20 is the one you need to travel with. Before you leave the US though, you need to ensure you have a travel signature on the second page of your I-20. This signature is valid for one year from the date it is signed. As long as you re-enter the US before a year from that date you will be safe to return to the US. Without this signature, you may not be allowed to reenter the US.
If you need the signature you can bring your I-20 by our office and have it signed, or if you are on OPT and can’t come to SAU you can request a new I-20 by completing the Document Pick-up form.
If your visa has expired then you will need to arrange a visa interview while you are in your home country to receive a new valid visa. You should take a copy of your transcript along with the other required interview documents. You can get an unofficial copy of your transcript from Campus Connect or from the Registrar’s Office.
Current Student- Documents to carry with you while traveling
Travel documents while on OPT
Traveling while on OPT is risky and is discouraged, but if you need to travel please keep the following information in mind.
Travel documents while on OPT STEM
Traveling while on OPT STEM is risky and is discouraged, but if you need to travel please keep the following information in mind.
Travel with pending STEM OPT Extension application
If your current EAD has expired, don’t travel while your STEM OPT extension is pending, you will not be able to return to the U.S.
Traveling Abroad During the Semester
It is highly advised not to leave the US during the semester. The dates of our semesters are recorded in SEVIS so when you go through Customs the officer there will see that you are traveling while you should be in class. As an F1 student, you are here to study and must maintain your status by following the attendance policy established by the institution. Failure to do so could lead to you losing your status. Our office does not provide permission to leave the US during the semester for short trips outside of the country.
If you do need to leave during the semester you should take the documents listed above for current students.