The International Programs Office would like to advise all F-1 students to plan ahead and make sure they have their required travel documents prior to any upcoming travel. Before traveling outside of the United States students should review their immigration documents to verify if their Passport, F-1 Visa, and I-20, with travel signature, are valid. Students can schedule an appointment to meet with a DSO prior to travel to discuss visa renewal and to have their immigration documents reviewed.
Students planning to travel outside of the United States are required to obtain a travel signature on page 2 of their I-20 prior to leaving the United States. A travel signature can be provided by a Designated School Official, DSO, in the IP Office and is valid for 12 months from the date of signature.
Documents Needed for Travel
Students will need to present the following items to reenter the United States at a port of entry:
- I-20 (with valid travel signature)
- Valid Passport
- Valid F-1 Visa (See Note Below)
- Financial Evidence- Students may need to show evidence of sufficient funding for academic and living expenses
- Current Class Schedule - Students may access their class schedule by using Student Online Services at southseattle.edu
- Students on OPT should also carry their Employment Authorization Document and a letter from their employer
Note: Students can travel to Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands for less than 30 days with an expired visa and may re-enter the United States on the Automatic Visa Revalidation program. Students from Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea are not eligible for automatic visa revalidation. Please see an advisor in the CIE Office for additional information.
Travel to Canada
Travel to Canada may require a Canadian Visa depending on the nationality of the student. Citizens from countries listed on the following website will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa prior to travel to Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp#exemptions
Processing time for tourist visas will be 6 weeks (2 months) and there is no expedited service. For additional information please visit the following website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/apply-visitor-visa.html
Travel around the United States
Students are advised to carry their passport along with their I-20 (with valid travel signature) and I-94 when traveling inside the United States. These documents may be required when traveling by plane, car, train, bus or ferry to prove lawful status in the U.S.