If you depart the U.S. at any point during your studies, to re-enter the U.S., your I-20 or DS-2019 must have a travel signature. The most recent signature should have been received within 12 months of re-entering the U.S. if you are a current student. If you are an F-1 student on post-completion OPT, the most recent signature should have been received within 6 months of re-entering the U.S. Please review page 2 of your I-20 to check the travel signature. If you are traveling while on post-completion OPT, please click here for more information.
If you need a new travel signature, you may submit an online request for a new I-20 with an updated travel signature that will be e-mailed to you or you may drop off your current I-20/DS-2019 to the ISSS office during office hours. An advisor will sign the document and send you an e-mail when it is ready to pick up.
If the travel signature section is full on your I-20/DS-2019 and you need a new travel signature, you can request an updated I-20/DS-2019 here.
Do not wait until the last minute for a travel signature. Travel signatures can be done months in advance of your travel plans.
Student Entry Visas
The F-1 or J-1 entry visa in your passport must be valid to re-enter the U.S. if you travel during your studies or during post-completion OPT/academic training. However, while you remain in the U.S. and maintain status, your visa does not need to be valid. An expired visa only needs to be renewed if you are planning to depart the U.S. and return in F-1 or J-1 status. An expired visa can only can be renewed outside the U.S. at a U.S. embassy, preferably in your home country.