Travel Information

What do I need to do if I am planning to travel abroad?

Ш      Contact your own Consulate to determine what travel precautions they suggest.

Ш      Contact the U.S. Department of State website to view travel advisories: http://travel.state.gov/

Ш      Make sure your documents are valid and you have a recent travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019.

Ш      Speak to an Immigration Advisor at ISS if you have any concerns about travel.

Ш       If you are not maintaining your F1 or J1 status, be sure to speak with an International Student Advisor before you travel outside of the U.S.

 

What documents do I need to take with me when I travel?

Ш      Be sure to carry the following documents with you whether you travel within the U.S. (outside of Wichita Falls) or abroad:

  • Passport, Visa, I-94 Card
  • I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel by an Immigration Advisor within the last year

Ш      In addition, we recommend that you carry:

  • Official MSU Transcript (obtained at the Registrar’s Office – Hardin building)
  • Letter of Good Standing, also called "Letter of Enrollment" (obtained at the Registrar’s Office)
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt (if the start date of your initial F-1 program is on or after 09/01/2004)
  • Proof of financial support (a personal bank statement, Research Assistant/Teaching Assistantship verification letter that includes salary and tuition payment details, or sponsor's letter and sponsor's bank statement).
  • Documentation of approval to take a reduced course load, if applicable

 

US-VISIT Exit Procedures

Be sure to check with the airline personnel at the airport of your departure if the airport is equipped with US-VISIT exit facility. Checking out of the U.S. using the US-VISIT exit procedure is mandatory where an exit solution is in place at the port of departure. If you fail to check out through these facilities, it could affect your ability to re-enter the country. You will not be penalized if an exit solution is not yet installed at your point of departure. For more information on US-VISIT see

US-Visit Exit Procedures  

 

Do I need to renew my visa if I travel abroad?

If your non-immigrant visa stamp has expired, you will have to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S., unless you will be using Automatic Visa Revalidation.

* Please speak with an Immigration Advisor at ISS before you leave the U.S. to apply for a visa renewal.

 

What if I travel to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean?

If you plan to travel to a country that is contiguous* to the U.S. (but not Cuba!) and you intend to stay there less than 30 days and will not apply for a new U.S. visa, you may re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa stamp (this regulation is knows as Automatic Visa Revalidation). Please note that citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa stamp, even if the trip is to a contiguous country.

 

How does Automatic Visa Revalidation work?

When traveling to a contiguous country, keep your I-94 card with you upon exiting the U.S. Tell the immigration official at the port of exit (border) that you intend to stay outside the U.S. for less than 30 days and that your U.S. visa is expired. Make sure to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed by an International Student Advisor at ISS before you travel and present that document along with your valid passport, I-94, and expired (or current) visa to re-enter the U.S.

* Saint Pierre, Miquelon, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, or other British, French or Netherlands territories or possessions in, or border-ing, the Caribbean Sea.

 

Can I renew my U.S. visa while in Mexico or Canada?

If you are planning to apply for a U.S. visa in Mexico or Canada, please talk to an International Student Advisor at ISS first. In general, ISS does not recommend that third-country nationals apply for a U.S. visa in Mexico or Canada because of lengthy delays due to background/security checks and complications in case of visa denial. Re-entry back into the United States will be based only on the successful approval of a visa. If your visa application were denied, you would need to depart directly to your home country to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S. You may not use Automatic Visa Revalidation if you applied for a visa while abroad! You can also see the web site for the U.S. Consulate in Cuidad Juarez for detailed information:

http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/

 

Do I need a visa to enter Mexico or Canada?

If you are traveling to Mexico or Canada, or any country that is not your country of citizenship, you may need a visa to enter that country. The following contacts may be helpful to determine if you need a visa to enter another country:

Canada: (213) 346-2711 or http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp  

Mexico: (512) 478-2866 or http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/index.html 

Foreign consular offices in the United States: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco