You must re-enter the U.S. on the same visa status you were using prior to your departure. Entering the U.S. on a different visa status will FORFEIT your current visa status and CANCEL any employment benefits associated with the status.
You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months past the end date of your program unless your home country has a passport agreement with the U.S.
You must have a valid U.S. visa in your passport at the time of re entry to the U.S., unless you are a Canadian citizen. If your visa has expired and you plan to travel abroad, you will need to go to a U.S. consulate or embassy (ideally in your home country) to apply for the new visa before returning to the U.S. Please review instructions on renewing your visa. You cannot renew your visa within the U.S. If your visa is in your expired passport, carry both your old passport and new passport to re-enter the U.S.
Make sure you have all the required documents with you in your carry-on and that they are not packed in your checked luggage.
Select your visa type in the menu on the left to see a list of required documents. We also have this Checklist available.
* F-1 students who need a new travel signature on their I-20 please complete the I-20 Reprint Request
You may be required to have an entry visa to enter these countries. Contact the consulates to check if you need a visa. Please allow enough time before your travel for visa processing.
If you are maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status in the U.S., you do not require a new visa to re-enter the U.S. after a visit of less than 30 days to a "contiguous territory" (Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands) even if your initial visa may have expired. You can re-enter the U.S. with a copy of the electronic I-94 record, a valid passport, and a current I-20 or DS-2019 (with valid travel signature) and a previously-issued U.S. visa stamp.
Nationals of Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria are not eligible for automatic revalidation of an expired visa.
DHS regulations require that you have your valid passport with you at all times. It is also suggested that you travel with your original I-20/DS-2019/ I-797 and I-94 record. Although this may not always be practical, we do encourage you to have these documents with you whenever you travel off-campus and especially for air travel.