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Traveling

Traveling

As an F-1 Visa student, there are a number of things to consider when traveling to and from the United States. The information below will help you understand what is expected of you, the documents you will need to complete and the rules you will need to follow to ensure smooth traveling.

Contact OISP

Traveling

You should notify OISP prior to traveling outside the U.S. so that the Form I-20 can be endorsed for travel, or a new form can be issued, if required. Students requesting a new I-20 should complete and submit a Request for a newly issued I-20.

You must have the following items in your hand luggage to re-enter the U.S.:

  • Valid passport (valid at least six months from the date of re-entry to the US)
  • Valid visa stamp (if renewing your visa, see below)
  • SEVIS I-20, page #2 signed by OISP for travel.  We are now recommending that the signature be less than six months old when you re-enter the U.S., so check that your I-20 is accurate and recently signed before departing.
  • Recommended: Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses

If you are on OPT, you must, also, bring:

  • Letter of employment from current employer
  • Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card

If your visa stamp is not valid for reentry make sure you go to a U.S. Consulate/ Embassy and apply for a new visa stamp prior to attempting to reenter the U.S. If you are traveling to Canada or contiguous territories for less than 30 days a new visa stamp will not be required.

If you are renewing your visa you will need to bring:

  • Current bank statements from your sponsor
  • Official school transcripts from all schools attended (You can get request your Franklin transcript online through my.franklin.edu or under the Current Student section of the website.)
  • Current class schedule
  • Make sure you schedule an appointment on time with U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You can find more information at http://www.usembassy.gov/.

If you are taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from classes for a period that exceeds five months, please be sure to speak to OISP. In general, F-1 students who are outside of the United States for five months or more must get a new I-20 for initial attendance and pay the I-901 SEVIS fee before being eligible.

Upon returning to the US, you must provide a copy of your I-94 admission record to OISP within ten days, to confirm that you have returned to continue full-time studies. You can print out your I-94 record here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.

After returning to the US, you must continue full-time studies at the Franklin University. You are not permitted to take a vacation term in the term immediately after a leave of absence.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Automatic visa revalidation falls under the INS code at 22CFR41.112(d). In brief, the provision allows students to travel to a contiguous territory or adjacent island and return to the U.S. using an expired visa or an older, different visa for those who have changed status in the U.S., provided the visit does not exceed 30 days.

Contiguous territory refers to Canada and Mexico. The term adjacent islands includes Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Carribean Sea (except Cuba).

Additional considerations may apply. Check travel.state.gov for more details.