If you are travelling outside of the U.S. you need a valid signature on the third page of your I-20 or front page of your DS-2019. Immigration will question you if you do not have this!
What do I need if I want to leave the U.S. and re-enter as a student?
- A valid Form I-20/Form DS-2019 signed for re-entry by the International Student Advisor or other authorized individuals at least ten days before you plan to leave. The signature on the form verifies that you are a full-time student in valid F-1/J-1 non-immigrant status.
- Though the regulations state the I-20 and DS-2019 needs to only be signed each year for valid travel, our office suggests to all that the signature be within 6 months of travel. Your I-20 or DS-2019 must be endorsed (signed) within the semester you plan to travel. If any information on either the I-20 or DS-2019 has changed, you will need to get a new copy from the Office of International Students before traveling. Travelling with all previous I-20s or DS-2019s is also recommended to show your history.
- The following people are authorized to endorse your DS-2019 or I-20 at Trinity College:
- Katharine Clair, International Student Advisor, OISS, Hansen Hall
- Eleanor Emerson, Office of Study Away - 66 Vernon St.
- Ann Reuman, Dean of Students Office- Hamlin/Cook Hall
- Patty McGregor, Registrar's Office- Trinity Commons
- Mandi Haines, Admissions Office- Admissions
- Deborah Haskins, Admissions Office- Admissions
- A passport that is valid until at least six months into the future:
- Your passport should be current at all times. If an expiration date is imminent, it is important to get your passport renewed immediately.
- A valid F-1/J-1 visa (except Canadian citizens):
- Please make sure that you have not used up your number of entries - 1, 2 or multiple. As long as the visa is an F-1/J-1 type, and is not expired, you do not need to apply for a new visa if you plan to exit and reenter the U.S. with a valid Form 1-20 or DS-2019 to continue your studies. If your visa expires while you are in the U.S., the next time you travel abroad you must obtain a new visa in order to be readmitted to the U.S.
- Proof of financial support:
- Current financial support documentation (bank statement or financial aid documents) that is no more than 6 months old. You will need this information especially if you are applying for a new visa.
- If you are on OPT, a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
In addition, you should carry a letter from your employer stating that you have the job, the job description and dates of employment, which need to match your EAD. If you are near the end of your OPT or if it is pending, it is not likely that you will be allowed to re-enter the U.S. for this purpose. Please think twice about travel!
Suggested Additional documentation during travel:
- Official transcripts from Trinity or other schools if you are a transfer student to show your full-time status
- A letter verifying your attendance at Trinity: A letter will be written for you to verify your full-time status at the college in case you are asked to provide verification of enrollment status. Request this from the Office of International Students at least 10 days prior to travel.
- Proof of course registration for the upcoming semester (shows the purpose of your return to the U.S.). You can print our your registration from TCOnline or request an official letter from the Registrar.
Travelling within the U.S.:
- Though not all your documents are required for domestic travel, our office suggests that you travel with all your documents as you would when travelling internationally. If you have a U.S. driver's license you can bring that as an ID, but do not count on it as your official identification. You still should travel with your passport and other legal documents. Also, make sure all travel documents and/or tickets have your name on as it appears on your passport. If the names are different, you will experience problems and may not be able to use your ticket.
Travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island for less than 30 days on an expired F-1/J-1 visa:
- Check all visa requirements for your country/passport country and the place of travel. You are required to fulfill their visa requirements, as well as keep your US visa current for re-entry. If you have a valid passport, a current F-1/J-1 visa, a Form I-20/DS-2019 with an up-to-date re-entry signature, and a Form I-94 indicating you have been admitted for Duration of Status (D/S) you can re-enter the U.S. in valid F-1/J-1 status as long as your trip is less than 30 days. You must retain your Form I-94 and tell the border official that you are taking advantage of "automatic visa revalidation." Currently, this benefit does not apply to citizens of Iran, Sudan, and Syria or visa holders who have traveled to Cuba. In addition, if you decide to renew your visa in Canada, Mexico, or any adjacent island and your visa is denied, you may not re-enter the U.S. on automatic visa revalidation.
- It is the student's responsibility to keep all the legal documentation. That means you should keep all I-20s and copies of all documents you are issued during your time in the U.S.
It is recommended that you make a copy of all your documents before you travel (you can do so at the OISS Office, Hansen Hall) and keep them separately from your originals here at school. Although the OISS has these copies, you should store a copy for yourself away from the original documents.