If you have the time and resources, exploring the United States and the region is highly encouraged. Just be sure to plan ahead.
Inside the United States
While traveling within United States boundaries, you will not have to show your documents as you would when you arrive in the United States; however, you should carry your passport at all times for identification purposes and your I-20 or DS-2019 in case of an emergency.
Outside the United States
If you plan to leave the United States for travel, including travel to Canada, please notify the international student advisor to discuss any requirements and confirm that your I-20/DS-2019 has been properly signed. Be aware that you will need to have the following documents with you for re-entry:
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 with a travel signature that is less than one year old. On the I-20, the travel signatures on are page 2 and on the DS-2019 they are located in the signature box on the front page
- A current visa stamp that will not expire before your return to the United States
- A current passport that is valid for at least six months after you return to the United States
- If you are on OPT, you will also need your Employment Authorization Document (aka OPT card) and a letter from your employer.
Note: If your visa will expire before you return to the United States, you will need to renew it while you are outside of the United States. All United States Embassies/Consulates require in-person interviews by appointment. Be aware that it typically takes at least three to four weeks to obtain a visa stamp. We advise that you contact the United States Embassy/Consulate that you intend to visit to confirm their current policy prior to leaving the United States, and plan your travel accordingly. Please note that the information on the embassy websites may not always be current in terms of how to apply for non-immigrant visas. A telephone call to the embassy is also advisable. It is always best to renew your visa in your home country. Attempting to renew your visa in a third party country is not advisable.