General Travel Advice

As a reminder, your US visa is valid for entry only to the United States. If you wish to travel to Canada, Mexico or another country, please contact the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit to determine documentation requirements.


If you travel outside of the U.S. and need to re-enter, you must have a valid/unexpired US F-1 or J-1 visa to return. There are exceptions to this rule for travel to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands.*
*See "Automatic Visa Revalidation" below.

Form I-94

TheI-94 card is an arrival and departure record that was createdthe Port of Entry (such as the airport) when you entered the U.S. In order to retrieve your I-94 number, please visit this CBP site.

Travel Signatures: F and J Status Only



  • Bring your original, current I-20/DS-2019 to OIS

  • Be sure you are registered; including registration for the fall semester if summer travel is planned

  • Signatures are valid for one year, as long as status is maintained, but it is best to request a new signature each semester


Automatic Visa Revalidation

Definition: Your expired U.S. entry visa is considered to be automatically extended to the date of re-entry provided that the visa has not been canceled and that you have not applied for a new visa. To take advantage of AVR, your travel must be to contiguous territories and for less than 30 days. Rules governing AVR are found in the United State's Code of Federal Regulation.

  • Contiguous countries are: Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands: Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Lee Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, the other British, French and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea

  • Does not apply to individuals from Cuba, Syria, Sudan or Iran

  • Only for travel less than 30 days

  • Not valid for people who travel from a contiguous territory, such as Canada, to a non-contiguous country, such as Germany, and return to the U.S. via a contiguous territory

  • If you have changed your status while in the U.S. and hold a visa for the previous status, you may still take advantage of AVR, as long as you bring the supporting documents for your new status. For example, you changed your status from F-1 to H-1B, but still only have an expired F-1 visa; you may still use AVR.

  • Automatic visa revalidation will no longer be available if you apply for a new U.S. entry visa in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands.

Entering the U.S. - General Information

For the most accurate information regarding entry procedures to the U.S., please see the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website. There you will find information regarding customs regulations, AVR, Form I-94, the Visa Waiver Program and other useful updates to help you with your travels to the U.S.