Office of International Education
Travel Inside & Outside the United States with a Visa
Inside the United States
While traveling inside the United States, you will not have to show your documents as you would when you arrive in the United States. However, you may need to carry your passport as your source of identification. It is also advisable to carry your I-20 or DS-2019 with you during your travels in case of an emergency situation.
Outside the United States
If you plan to leave the United States for travel, including travel to Canada, you will need to take a few precautions. Before you depart, please be sure you have the following documents with you:
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 with a travel signature that is less than 1 year old. On the I-20, the travel signatures on are page 3 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 6 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.
If your visa will expire before you return to the United States, you will need to renew your visa while you are outside of the United States. All U.S. Embassies/Consulates require in-person interviews by appointment. Please plan on it taking at least 3-4 weeks to obtain a visa stamp. We advise that you contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate that you intend to visit to confirm their current policy prior to leaving the U.S. 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.
Please notify the International Student Services Advisor of any plans to travel outside the United States to discuss any requirements and confirm that your I-20/DS-2019 has been properly signed.