If you are an international student or scholar and plan to travel this summer, be sure that you have the appropriate immigration documents.
Review Your I-20 or DS-2019
Don’t forget to check your I-20/DS-2019 for a valid travel signature:
- Look at page 3 of the I-20 (F-1 students) or page 1 of the DS-2019 (J-1 students/scholars) and check the date that the document was last signed for travel by an immigration advisor.
- If the signature will be more than 12 months old by the date that you plan to re-enter the U.S., please stop by ISSS to have your I-20/DS-2019 signed before you leave (during advising hours only. No appointment required.)
- If you are on OPT, please note that your travel signature is only valid for 6 months, and you will need to renew it accordingly.
We recommend that you get a new travel signature and carry your immigration documents with you even if you travel within the U.S. anywhere near the border, such as South Padre, Big Bend, South Texas, or Galveston. You could be stopped at an immigration checkpoint!
Need to Renew Your Visa?
If the visa stamp in your passport has expired please come to ISSS and speak to an immigration advisor. You can also review our visa handout online.
Traveling to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean with an Expired Visa? Use Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR)
If you plan to travel to any of the countries listed below and have an expired U.S. visa, you might consider automatic visa revalidation (AVR). Please see our travel advisory for further details.
- Saint Pierre
- Dominican Republic
- The Bahamas
- The Windward and Leeward Islands
- Other British, French or Netherlands territories or possessions in, or bordering the Caribbean Sea.
Traveling abroad while on OPT or Academic Training?
The following are the documents you will need to take with you:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry
- Valid U.S. visa (except for Canadians)
- I-20/DS-2019 signed by an Immigration Advisor within the past 6 months
- Valid EAD (Employment Authorization Document, also known as ‘work card’ or ‘OPT card’) or Academic Training authorization letter
- Verification of employment or offer letter to start employment shortly after re-entry to the U.S.
Aditya Dash says
Hi, I am on h1 Visa. My h1 visa got expired in the month of sept 13. It was filed for extension and it got approved. I am yet to receive the i94, expecting it soon.
I am planning to got to UME 2014 during spring break at South Padre. As my Visa has expired but I have a revised i94, is it safe to go to South Padre and come back. Technically i wont be traveling outside US. Still wanted to verify if I might face issues as i heard there are border forces which check for immigration documents. I have not yet gone for stamping my renewed visa. PLease help
Erica Wise says
When traveling near the US border, its important to carry all of your original immigration documents with you. In your case, you should carry the I-797 Approval Notice (with the attached I-94) and passport. Since you will not be departing the US, it is okay if the visa stamp in your passport is not currently valid.
If you have any further questions, please schedule an appointment to see an International Student Advisor: http://world.utexas.edu/isss/advising#student, or consult the immigration attorney who assisted you with your H-1B matters.
We wish you safe travels!