Find out what international students need for travel to Canada/Mexico and re-entry to the United States.
To re-enter the U.S., you will be required to show:
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.
If your visa has expired, please see the Applying for a U.S. Visa page.
* Note: 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. 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, H-1B, H-4, 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 students will need a valid I-20, up-to-date signature on page 2 of their I-20 and unexpired passport. J-1 students and scholars will need a valid DS-2019, up-to-date travel signature on their DS-2019 and unexpired 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.
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 (regardless of the length of time) and you wish to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, 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., you must apply for a new visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. This may only be done OUTSIDE U.S. borders.