Office of Global Citizenship

Travelling Abroad

 

Non-U.S.-citizen faculty and staff should contact the Assistant Counsel for Global Affairs well in advance of travel abroad, to ensure that they have the documentation necessary to enter a third country and reenter the United States, and because departing the country can affect some immigration processes.

Non-citizen travelers should also be aware of possible delays in processing visas abroad and plan travel accordingly.

Documentation Required for Reentering the United States

The documentation required for reentering the United States varies depending on the foreign national’s immigration status. Following is general information about the necessary documentation, but it is not a substitute for contacting the office about your travel plans!

Optional Practical Training (OPT) during F-1 Student Status

In order to return from travel abroad, F-1 students with OPT should be prepared to present: 

• Current Passport valid for 6 months after the date of re-entry

• Valid F-1 Student Visa affixed to Passport

• Form I-20 endorsed for travel and signed by your Designated School Official (DSO) within the last 6 months

• Proof of SEVIS fee payment

• Current Employment Letter from the University including your position and salary

If your F-1 visa has expired, you must visit a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad to renew your F-1 visa. (One exception is for some F-1 visa holders who have traveled for less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or an island other than Cuba adjacent to the United States.) Please be aware that it can be difficult to receive a new F-1 visa during OPT.

J-1 Visa

In order to return from travel abroad, J-1 scholars should be prepared to present: 

• Current Passport valid for 6 months after the date of re-entry

• Valid J-1 Visa affixed to Passport

• Form DS-2019 signed by the program sponsor within the last year

• Current Employment Letter from the University including your position and salary

If your J-1 visa has expired, you must visit a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad to renew your visa. (One exception is for some J-1 visa holders who have traveled for less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or an island other than Cuba adjacent to the United States.)

 

H1B Visa

In order to return from travel abroad, H-1B visa holders should be prepared to present:

• Current Passport valid for 6 months after the date of re-entry

• Valid H-1B Visa affixed to Passport

• Form I-797 H-1B Approval Notice

• Current Employment Letter from the University including your position and salary

If you do not have an H-1B visa in your passport or your H-1B visa has expired, you must visit a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad to renew your visa.

Lawful Permanent Residents

In order to return to the U.S. from travel abroad, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) should be prepared to present:

• Current passport; and

• Valid Green Card (or Form I-551 endorsement in passport).

Please note that it is possible for an LPR to abandon his or her status, and the immigration authorities may assume that is the case after a lengthy absence. A lengthy absence could also affect your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen.

If you are an LPR and plan to be abroad for more than six months consecutively, please contact the Assistant Counsel for Global Affairs as soon as you know that is a possibility.

Upon Return from Travel Abroad

After returning to the United States from travel abroad, visa holders should access their I-94 arrival record online to ensure that their entry and information — visa type and date status expires — were properly recorded and to print a copy of the information for their records.

Visas for Travel Abroad

Whether or not a traveler requires a visa to enter a third country depends on his or her country of passport issuance. Often the information about whether a visa is necessary can be found on the website of the destination country’s embassy. If you need assistance with a visa for travel abroad, please contact the Assistant Counsel for Global Affairs.

Disclaimer:  This information is intended to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases.  Areas of law are rapidly changing. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State regularly change regulations and processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of an immigration attorney.