Travel Endorsement Information

Travel Alerts and Warnings

Travel during the ongoing COVID pandemic can be risky.  Travel restrictions/bans, quarantines, and COVID vaccine requirements are possible. The U.S. Embassies and Consulates in some countries have also not yet resumed routine visa processing. If you choose to travel internationally, be prepared and plan ahead for possible delays and disruptions.  Regularly review our travel alerts information, as well as the other travel resources mentioned below.

If you decide to travel, be sure that you have the required documents for travel outside the U.S.  and check page 2 of your I-20  for a valid travel endorsement signature (the signature is valid for one year for enrolled students).

Non-immigrant air travelers to the United States must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the U.S., with only limited exceptions. Review the CDC Air Travel to the US Requirements for additional details.

Please consider carefully your desire to travel internationally.

What is a travel endorsement?

A travel endorsement is a signature from your Designated School Official (ISS advisor) on your I-20 or DS-2019. The signature serves as confirmation that you are maintaining F-1 or J-1 status. A valid travel endorsement is required for re-entry to the U.S., including trips to Canada. 

How can I check to see if I have a valid travel endorsement?

Newly arrived students will not have a travel endorsement signature on their documents. It is important to request the travel endorsement before planning international travel!

F-1 students can find the travel endorsement section on their I-20, bottom of page 2.

  • Each signature is valid for 1 year if you are an enrolled student, or 6 months if you are on Post-Completion OPT/OPT STEM Extension.
Example Travel Endorsement section on Page 2 of an I-20.

J-1 Students can find the travel endorsement section on their DS-2019, page 1, lower right corner.

  • Each signature is valid for 1 year for enrolled students and those on Academic Training.
Example travel validation section on a DS-2019.

How do I request a new travel endorsement?

It is important to request a travel endorsement at least 10 business days before your trip. To request a travel endorsement, follow the instructions below: 

To request a Travel Endorsement on your I-20/DS-2019

  1. Log in to UB Global using your UBIT Name and Password.  
  2. Find your e-form.
    • Enrolled F-1 students click on “F-1 Student Services” 
    • J-1 students click on “J-1 Student Services”
    • Students on OPT should click on "Optional Practical Training"
  3. Select the “Travel Endorsement Request” e-form (F-1 students) or the "Travel Validation Request" eform (J-1 students)
  4. Complete and submit the e-form. 
  5. ISS will issue a new I-20 or DS-2019 for travel. The I-20 will be emailed to your UB email address. The DS-2019 will be available for pick up in the ISS office or can be mailed to you.  

Check our e-form processing page for current processing times and plan accordingly.