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Travel Abroad for F-1 Students

Travel Abroad for F-1 Students

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., first check to see if you need a new travel endorsement on page 3 of your I-20. The travel signature is valid for one year. If you need a new travel signature, submit the Travel Signature Request along with your current I-20 to International Student Services at least two days before you intend to depart.

You will need the following documents to re-enter the United States:

  • Valid I-20 with travel signature
  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa


  • If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands (except Cuba) for 30 days or less, you may qualify for automatic visa revalidation, which means you may return to the U.S. on an expired visa; however, it is important that you discuss this with the Director of International Student Services to be sure that you qualify.
  • Canadian citizens are not required to have an F-1 visa in their passport.

Visa renewal

  • To apply for a new visa, you need to arrange a visa appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country. Remember that some countries have long visa wait times, especially during peak travel seasons, and embassies and consulates close for holidays. You will need to take all the required documents, including your valid passport, I-20, proof of finances, proof of continuous full time enrollment, and the visa application form.

Other recommended documents for F-1 students who are traveling:

  • Proof of finances to support yourself, such as a current bank statement or scholarship letter
  • Proof of enrollment, such as a printout of your class schedule or letter from the Registrar confirming your continuous full time enrollment
  • Walsh University ID card

If you are engaged in Optional Practical Training, you will also need the following documents:

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)
  • Letter from your employer verifying your current employment. The letter should contain the job description and dates of employment, and it should be printed on official letterhead with an original signature.

For questions about travel outside the U.S., contact the Director of International Student Services at 330-490-7105.