Traveling Outside the United States

If you are planning a trip outside the United States, be sure to check the following before you depart to avoid having problems re-entering the U.S. You should make sure the following are fulfilled prior to travel:

  • A valid passport at least 6 months from expiration
  • A valid visa  
  • If your F-1/F-2 or J-1/J-2 visa has expired, you have to apply for one in your home country
  • A current I-20 or DS-2019 form with appropriate endorsement ( travel signature)
  • Be prepared to talk about your educational goals in the U.S., your intent to return to your home country and your plans once you do return home.

If you are on optional practical training, you must also present:

  • A valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • A letter from your employer stating that you have a job, the job description and the dates of employment.

Automated Form I-94:

  • Effective April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated its arrival and departure process and has eliminated the paper Form I-94 for air and sea travelers (CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border ports of entry). Although air and sea travelers will no longer receive a paper Form I-94, CBP has created an electronic record of your arrival and departure. You will be able to obtain your admission number and electronic I-94 record through the website information must be reported to our office within ten (10) days of each entry into the U.S.
  • With the new process, a CBP officer will stamp your passport. This admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission (F-1/J-1) and D/S (duration of status). If you receive an expiration date on your admission stamp you must ask the immigration officer to correct it to (D/S).
  • If you are admitted incorrectly to the U.S., you should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or port of entry to have your admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and ports of entry can be found at, under the “Ports” link at the bottom of the page.
  • If you received an incorrect I-94 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you should refer to Form I-102 available at

Travel Endorsement Request Form

NOTE: If you encounter any difficulties when entering the U.S., do not argue with the immigration officer; ask them to call IMP on your behalf.