Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe & Latin America

Learn what international students, scholars and employees need for travel to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe or Latin America and re-entry to the United States (excluding travel to and re-entry from Canada and Mexico).

On this page:

What Documents Do I Need to Re-Enter the U.S.?

1. An Unexpired Passport

Except for citizens of countries on the “Six-Month Club” list, nonimmigrants are required to have a passport that is valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay when they enter the U.S. However, F and J nonimmigrants' passports must only be valid for six months when they enter the U.S.--and those whose country of citizenship is on the Six-Month Club list must only have a valid passport. Therefore, if your country of citizenship is NOT on the Six-Month Club list, DO NOT attempt to enter the U.S. unless you have at least six months of validity on your passport.

2. Proof of Your Immigration Status

  • If you are in F-1 status: Your I-20 with a DSO signature on page 2 that is less than one year old
  • If you are in J-1 status: Your DS-2019 with a travel signature that is less than one year old
  • If you are in H-1B status: Your unexpired Form I-797 Approval Notice

3. An Unexpired U.S. Visa Stamp

If your visa has expired, please see the Applying for a U.S. Visa page.

I am a Student Traveling Outside the U.S. Temporarily. Is There Anything Else I Should Carry?

If you are a student, we recommend that you also carry the following documents:

  • Proof of enrollment (transcripts, class schedule printout)
  • Proof of funding (copy of letter offering you an assistantship, financial documentation provided for the issuance of your I-20, etc.)

What If I am an F-1 Student on Optional Practical Training?

If you are on Optional Practical Training, we recommend that you carry the following documents in addition to the above required documents:

  • Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)
  • Job offer letter or letter confirming current employment

What If I am a J-1 Student on Academic Training?

In addition to the above required documents, we recommend that you carry a letter from your employer verifying your academic training employment.

I’ve Changed my Immigration Status Since I Entered the U.S. Now, my Status is Different from my Visa Stamp. Do I Need to Apply for a New U.S. Visa Stamp to Re-Enter the U.S.?

YES. You need to get a new visa stamp from a U.S. Consulate. Your visa stamp must be valid and must match your current status in order for you to re-enter the U.S.

If you traveled ONLY to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, you may not need a new U.S. visa stamp. Please read the information about traveling to Canada/Mexico and re-entry to the U.S. to confirm this point.

What Documents Does my Dependent Need to Travel and Re-Enter the U.S.?

Your dependent spouse or minor children should carry the following documents in order to re-enter the U.S.:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Valid U.S. visa stamp
  3. Valid dependent Form I-20, DS-2019 or H-4 approval notice (if applicable)
  4. Photocopy of your documents (your passport, U.S. visa AND your I-20, DS-2019 or H-1B approval notice)
  5. Proof of financial funding
  6. Photocopy of spouse’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) and letter of employment (if applicable)