Before You Leave the United States

Students in F status must have the third page of their I-20 signed by the International Student Advisor or another Designated School Official at CIIS in order to re-enter the United States.  For absences of less than 5 months, the endorsed I-20 is valid for one year from the date of the signature.

Always double-check that both your visa and passport are valid! If you are entering the U.S. as a student with a valid I-20, you need to have an F-1 visa.

When You Leave the United States

Except for travel to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands for 30 days or less, you will submit the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record at departure and receive a new Form I-94 upon re-entering the U.S.

Re-Entering the United States

Upon your return to the U.S., you must show the following documents to the U.S. Immigration Inspector:

  1. A valid passport with an expiration date at least 6 months beyond your date of entry*
  2. A visa that is valid beyond the date of your return to the U.S.*
  3. A new or currently valid I-20 ID with page 3 endorsed by the International Student Advisor.

* Citizens of Canada are exempt from passport and visa requirements unless entering from outside the Western Hemisphere.

To Enter Foreign Countries

You may be required to obtain a visa and immunizations for travel in many countries. For full details, contact the nearest consulate or embassy for each country you plan to visit. Many countries have consulates in San Francisco, and you may check the telephone directory for their addresses and telephone numbers.

If there is no local consular office, contact the country's embassy in Washington D.C. to find the location of the consulate responsible for issuing visas to persons residing in the Bay Area. For information on consular offices and travel advisories visit the U.S. State Department website.

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