Find out what international students need for travel to Canada/Mexico and re-entry to the United States.
On March 21, 2020, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada temporarily restricted non-essential travel across the US-Canada land borders. For additional information please read CBP's page on the topic.
F and J students are required to have a passport that is valid at least 6 months into the future.
1. Log in to UB Global. Click on the blue “LOGIN” button and enter your UBIT Name and Password. Do NOT click on “Administrative Services for University Departments”.
2. F-1 students click on “F-1 Student Services” and J-1 students click on “J-1 Student Services”.
3. Select the “Travel Endorsement Request” e-form.
4. Complete and submit the e-form.
5. ISS will issue a new I-20 for travel. You will be notified when the I-20 is ready for mailing.
*ISS processing is currently 7-10 business days. Please plan accordingly.
If your visa has expired, please see the Applying for a U.S. Visa page.
* You may or may not need a U.S. visa to re-enter the U.S. from Canada. This will depend on many factors, such as the length of your stay in Canada and your citizenship. Please read the questions below for more details.
Under the “automatic revalidation of visa” benefit, individuals on nonimmigrant visas (F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, etc.) may re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa after a stay of less than 30 days in Canada or Mexico.
To re-enter, F-1/F-2 students will need a valid I-20, valid signature on page 2 of their I-20 and a valid passport. J-1/J-2 students will need a valid DS-2019, valid travel signature on their DS-2019 and a valid passport.
Individuals in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status may also enter the U.S. after a stay of less than 30 days on islands in the Caribbean. A list of the specific Caribbean Islands where automatic revalidation is possible can be found here.
There are two important exceptions to the “automatic revalidation of visa” benefit:
NO. If your application for a change of status was approved and your current documents are in accordance with the new status, you may re-enter the U.S. without a visa stamp matching your new status as long as your trip to Canada was less than 30 days and you are not a citizen of Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
YES. If your trip to Canada was more than 30 days, you will need a VALID U.S. visa stamp in addition to your other immigration documents to re-enter the U.S.
YES. If you traveled to another country outside Canada, Mexico or Caribbean Islands eligible for automatic revalidation (regardless of the length of time) and you wish to re-enter the U.S., you must have a valid U.S. visa stamp to re-enter the U.S.
If your U.S. visa stamp has expired or will expire prior to the date of your re-entry to the U.S., and you do not meet the eligibility requirements for automatic revalidation, you must apply for a new visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. This may only be done OUTSIDE U.S. borders.
If you are a student, we recommend that you also carry the following documents:
If you are on Optional Practical Training, we recommend that you carry the following documents in addition to the above required documents:
In addition to the above required documents, we recommend that you carry a letter from your employer verifying your academic training employment.
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.
Your dependent spouse or minor children should carry the following documents in order to re-enter the U.S.:
It is important to understand how the Public Charge rule (i.e. utilizing U.S. taxpayer funded benefits) can impact your re-entry to the U.S.
A letter from ISS is not needed; instead an invitation letter written by you is best.
For a list of additional documents required for a B-2 visa application, please check the Consulate website where they will apply. Generally, it is recommended to provide your visitors with copies of your immigration documents (I-20, I-94, F-1 Visa Stamp) and a copy of your enrollment verification or transcript from the Registrar office. It is also important that they show sufficient funds to cover any expenses during their trip to the U.S.
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You can request one on UB Global!
Look for the Travel Endorsement or OPT Travel Validation Endorsement e-forms.