Traveling Outside the United States

Under most conditions, international students are permitted to travel outside the United States with an easy re-entry.

Check the travel warnings and be safe!

Some countries where you may wish to travel may not currently be safe for you. Check the current travel warnings from sites like Travel.State.Gov. Also keep in mind that travel warnings for Americans might be different for travel warnings for citizens from your home country. So check with your embassy or travel sites other travel sites to find all the current countries under travel advisory.

Even for countries that are not under any travel advisery, be sure to make safe decisions when making travel plans. Stay in groups of 2 or more. Always be aware of your surroundings. Tell someone where you are going and when they should expect your return. Talk to the UCA Police Department for an upcoming self-defense class!

NOTE: The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for Mexico, which was updated on November 20, 2012.  Please refer to the  warning here:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5815.html when making travel plans.  It is highly recommended that students do not travel to Mexico for any reason.

Obtain the proper visa for the country to which you are traveling

If you are traveling into another country, you may be required to obtain a visa for that country. Canada is a frequent travel destination for international students. Many students on F-1 or J-1 visas do not need a visa to enter Canada, but some countries do. Just be safe and find out all the visa details before your trip.

Check to see if your U.S. visa is still valid

While you are in the United States, your visa can expire without causing you any immigration trouble. However, once you leave the country, you cannot return without an active visa. You cannot renew your visa in the United States. In most instances, you must return to your home country to renew your visa. For more details, see Visa Questions for Traveling Outside the United States.

Make sure your passport is not expired

While you are an international student in the United States, your passport must never become expired. This is especially important as you travel within and outside of the U.S.

Request a Travel Signature on your I-20 or DS-2019

If you leave the country and plan to return, you must obtain a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 from a Designated School Official (DSO). The signature must be within 6 months of the return date to the United States.To request a travel signature, you must complete the Travel Signature Request Form. Your address and all information on your I-20 or DS-2019 must be up-to-date before we can give you the travel signature. Please plan ahead and request your signature 2 weeks before the end of the semester.

Extended absence from the United States

If a student plans to withdraw from class and leave the U.S. for an extended length of time , they must see the Designated School Official (DSO) in the Office of International Engagement before making travel arrangements, withdrawing, registering or not registering for classes. Depending on the amount of time the student will be gone, the procedure for exiting and reentering the country will vary. Please find more information about  Absence from the U.S.

Travel Resources

Current Travel Warnings
Visa Questions for Traveling Outside the United States
Travel Signature Request Form
Absence from the U.S
Canada visa information

ICE.gov on Reentry For F-1 Nonimmigrants Traveling Outside The United States For Five Months or Less