If you are planning to travel out of the United States and then return to continue studying in The Tseng College, submit a Travel Request to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Client Services (ARC) on the 2nd Floor of the Extended University Commons Building in EU 200 at least a week prior to your planned departure.
Travel Eligibility for all F-1 Students
- be in status in SEVIS
- travel when school is not in session
- be eligible to continue your studies
- be returning to the Tseng College to continue your studies (not transferring at the time of travel)
For IEP Students Only
If traveling during times listed on the chart below, you MUST answer the Continuation Survey (also called ‘Online Intent to Continue’) to be approved for travel. Contact the IEP Academics office for any questions about the Continuation Survey.
|traveling between…||Continuation Survey|
|Spring and Summer||MUST complete survey|
|Summer and Fall||MUST complete survey|
|Fall and Spring||MUST complete survey|
|If taking a session off||MUST complete survey|
If traveling at times listed on this chart, you simply request a Travel I-20 in ARC:
|Travel Time||Continuation Survey|
|Between Session 1 and 2, Spring||Survey is NOT necessary|
|Between Session 1 and 2, Fall||Survey is NOT necessary|
|During Spring Break||Survey is NOT necessary|
|During a weekend||Survey is NOT necessary|
|If started IEP in fall mid-entry and are traveling between fall and spring||Survey is NOT necessary|
Important Information about traveling – for all Tseng College Students
Keep Documents With You While Traveling
When traveling, and especially when returning to the U.S., make sure you have all required documentation in your possession; do not put these items in your luggage, keep them with you!
The U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also Recommends in addition to the required documents listed above, that you also have these with you:
Entry Stamp in Passport
When re-entering the US, your passport is stamped. Please check-in with ARC upon your return and bring with you:
- Your passport, with entry stamp. OR
- Your “electronic I-94” which you can access and print from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/
Traveling to Mexico and Canada
Generally, all F-1 students traveling to Mexico must have the same documents as required for any travel outside of the United States:
- A valid passport that does not expire for at least six months following reentry in the U.S.
- A valid F-1 visa
- A valid Form I-20 endorsed (signed) for travel.
All foreigner visitors must have a valid, unexpired passport.
Do I need a tourist visa to visit Mexico?
Foreigners of any country traveling to Mexico on a cruise ship are NOT required to obtain a visa or consular stamp. F-1 students must have their passports, visas, and Travel I-20s.
Traveling to Mexico by land, or air: Most F-1 students do not need visas to visit Mexico. If you are a citizen of a country not on the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, contact the Mexican Consulate to see if you need a visa.
The Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles:
2401 W. Sixth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Tel: (213) 351-6800
Fax: (213) 351-2114
A list of Mexican Consulates in the U.S. is available at Mexico Online: http://www.mexonline.com/consulate.htm
You can make an appointment at any Consulate of Mexico in the U.S. through the Call Center (Mexitel) at (877) 639-4835 or online at https://mexitel.sre.gob.mx/citas.webportal/pages/public/login/login.jsf
For a short visit to Canada, citizens of some countries are required to obtain a tourist visa, but citizens of other countries can use an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
See if your country of citizenship is a ‘Visa-Required Country’ at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
You can apply for an eTA or for a tourist visa at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-how.asp#visitorvisa
This same website has topics about how long you can stay, if you need a Canadian visa, if you already have a U.S. visa, and much more information.
The website of the Canada Border Services Agency has lots of information about traveling to Canada.
Entering the U.S. Without Proper Documents
If your documents cannot be verified by CBP, if you have lost or forgotten your I-20, if you haven’t paid your SEVIS I-901 fee, and so on, you may be denied admission into the United States or you may be issued a Form I-515A, "Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor." A Form I-515A allows you to enter the US, but you must send in the required information and documents listed on the I-515A within 30 days in order to maintain your student status. If you receive a Form I-515A because you did not have your I-20 with you, request from ARC, in EU 200, to have your I-20 reprinted. A Form I-515A allows you stay only 30 days. In that time, you are expected to fix whatever problem caused you to get the form. Therefore, it can be a serious problem if you do not take quick action after receiving a Form I-515A.
See What is the Form I-515A? for more information.
Passport Expiration Dates
Travel While on Post-Completion OPT
You can travel and return to the US for the remainder of the period authorized on your EAD card as long as you:
More information available at https://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel.
Caution! Traveling before receiving EAD card (have applied for OPT but have not been approved yet).
You can travel but look out for:
More information available at https://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel.
Travel with Dependent I-20 and F-2 Visa
Family members on an F-2 visa can travel in and out of the United States during the entire time that the principal F-1 student would be eligible to travel. The F-1 visa holder is not required to accompany their dependents. Like F-1 students, dependent I-20s must be endorsed for travel. F-2 dependents are required to keep their passports valid and passports should not expire within 6 months after entering the US. F-2 dependents might also be issued a Form I-515A and be admitted for only 30 days if they do not have proper documentation at the time of entry. The same I-515A rules that apply to F-1 students apply to F-2 dependents.
Travel within the United States
You can travel within the United States (this includes Alaska and Hawaii) during school breaks and vacations without permission from your designated school official (DSO).
If your travel does not involve any re-entry from outside of the United States or crossing a U.S. border, you will not have to apply for re-entry to the United States with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Keep a copy of important travel documents, such as your Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” safely with you when you travel anywhere. Your passport should be valid at all times.
Travel for Purpose of Renewing Visa or Re-Establishing SEVIS Status
If you will be re-entering the United States with a new I-20 for the purpose of getting back into SEVIS status, see SEVIS Status Issues.