Before an F1 student leaves the United States temporarily and return to continue studies at JSU it is important that the student secures the necessary documents to permit entry to another country and permit re-entry to the United States. Like the United States, other countries have rules and restrictions on who can enter their country. F-1 students who wish to visit their country of citizenship or permanent residence generally will be allowed to enter that country if they hold a valid passport or other travel document issued by that country. For travel into any country other than the home country, students must check with the Embassy of the country they would like to visit to inquire about specific entry procedures.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS FOR REENTRY
In order to reenter the United States after a temporary absence of 5 months or less, an F-1 student should have the following documents:
- A valid passport
- A valid F-1 visa
- A Form I-20 properly endorsed for travel by the DSO on page 2
- Evidence of student status (class, schedule, admission letter, recent tuition receipts, transcripts);
- Name and contact information for the school's Designated School Official (DSO)
MAKE SURE YOUR I-20 WILL NOT EXPIRE WHILE YOU ARE OUT OF THE COUNTRY
- Check your program end date on your I-20 to see whether it is about to expire. If it expires while you are outside the U.S., you will not be able to re-enter the U.S.
- If your I-20 is about to expire and you have not yet completed your program, you will need to request a program extension. Once your extension is approved, a new I-20 will be printed and signed for travel.
- Updated financial documentation will be required to process your new I-20.
TRAVEL SIGNATURE REQUIREMENT
A travel signature is issued by your JSU Global ISSS adviser prior to international travel!
- You must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 to return to the U.S. after travel abroad.
- Each travel signature is valid for one year or until the completion of your program whichever comes first.
- Students on OPT travel signature is valid for six months.
- If your current travel signature will expire before you will return to the U.S., you must request an updated I-20 form with travel signature.
- The travel signature is located on page 3 of your I-20 or the front page of your DS-2019.
HOW TO OBTAIN A TRAVEL SIGNATURE
Bring the following documents with you during walk-in advising hours:
In Jackson, MS area
- I-20 or DS 2019
- Print out of I-94
Outside the Jackson, MS area:
Check your I-20 if you have it with you. The travel signature is on page 3 of your most recent I-20 (or on page 2 of I-20s issued after 6/29/15). You may still have a valid signature. If you do not, follow the steps below:
- In order to request a new I-20, you will need a scan your passport photo page, your mailing address (to mail the new I-20) OR the name and email address of a friend at JSU who will pick-up your I-20 on your behalf, your EAD card if you are currently on post-completion OPT or STEM OPT.
- Contact email@example.com to request a travel signature. In the subject put “Request Travel Signature”
- Your JSU Global ISSS advisor will generate a new I-20. We take up to five business days to complete your request.