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Travel and Re-Entry

Please visit the Office of International Student Services or see an international student advisor on your campus at least two weeks (10 business days) before you plan to travel outside the United States. You will need to obtain a travel signature on your I-20 and submit the F-1 Travel Outside the United States form.

Documents required to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status:

  • Valid I-20 with travel signature on the third page
  • Valid passport
  • Current F-1 visa
  • Original EAD card (if on OPT)
  • Letter of employment from employer (if on OPT)

You may also wish to bring with you:

  • Financial documents from your sponsor
  • Copy of your NOVA transcript (request this online through MyNOVA at least 10 days prior to leaving)

Please ensure that your F-1 visa is valid until at least the date you plan to return to the U.S. If it is expired, you will need to apply for a new F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy before you will be allowed to re-enter the U.S.

Change of Status Students:
If you have previously changed from another status into F-1 from inside the U.S., you received the benefits of F-1 status, but you did not receive a new visa. This means you will need to go to the U.S. Embassy and apply for an F-1 visa in order to return to the U.S. in student status. 

Temporary Absence:
If you will be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time during the fall or spring semester, you may need to make arrangements to ensure your I-20 is active when you return.

Please download this document for more information:

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