Traveling for the F-1 Student

Traveling outside the U.S.

If you are planning to travel during any school breaks, come in to the office at least two weeks before you plan to leave.
If you plan to visit a country other than your homeland, check with that country's embassy for their policies on visa issuances.  You might need to obtain a visa to enter that country.
To reenter the U.S. you must have:

  • Valid visa:  As long as the visa is F-1 visa type, and is not expired, the student does not need to apply for a new visa, if he or she plans to exit and reenter the U.S. with an I-20 to continue studies.  If your visa expires while you are in the U.S., the next time you travel abroad your must obtain a new visa in order to be readmitted to the U.S.
  • Valid passport:  Your passport should be current at all times. If an expiration date is imminent it is important to get your passport renewed immediately.  Your passport must be valid 6 months into the future of the date that you re-enter the United States.
  • Valid I-20:  Your I-20 must be endorsed by the PDSO within the semester you  plan  to travel.  The PDSO endorses your current I-20 on page 3.  However, if any of the information on page 1 of the I-20 has changed, you will need a new I-20 before traveling.
  • Letter verifying attendance at Wesleyan:  A letter will be written for you verifying full-time attendance at the university in case you are asked to provide verification of enrollment status.

  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Card:  This document is given to you b the border agent upon arrival into the United States.  The i-94 must be presented to Immigration at the time you leave the U.S.  When you re-enter you will be issued a new I-94. If you this card is lost, it is necessary to replace it before you travel. There is a filing fee of $330, so make sure you have the card with your immigration documents.  Each time you arrive at the port-of-entry, a U.S. immigration office decides whether to allow you to enter and how long you can stay.

Traveling within the U.S.

If you plan to travel, within the U.S. take a photocopy of your passport with you and also your Wesleyan I.D. card..  Leave the other immigration documents and social security card at home in a safe place. You must carry proof of your immigration status at all times.

If you plan to have family members visit you in the U.S.

If any of your family members from your homeland plan to visit you while you are on your student visa, a letter of support for their visit can be written for them.  Print out  the Family Visit Request Letter,  enter in the requested information and bring it to the office of the DSO.