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Travel

Required Documents for Re-Entry
Renewing Your Passport or Student Visa
Travel to Canada, Mexico & Adjacent Islands

 

Required Documents for Re-Entry

In order to re-enter the United States after a temporary absence (less than 5 months), students must carry the following documents:

  1. Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of the re-entry to the United States)
  2. Valid F-1 student visa inside of the passport (exception are students from Canada) 
  3. I-20 form with a valid travel endorsement from the Global Education Office (GEO) (signatures are valid for 6 months)


Dominican F-1 Students: Please submit an I-20 Travel Signature Request Form along with the original I-20 to GEO. The I-20 will be ready for pick up in 5 business days.


Optional Documents to Carry:

  1. Financial support documents
  2. Letter of Standing: This document will confirm students’ full-time student attendance at Dominican and the details of their degree program. There is a 4-business day processing time for a Letter of Standing. 
  3. Copy of Dominican transcript and/or proof of course registration


F-1 Students on OPT

F-1 Students on OPT must carry the following documents:

  1. Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of the re-entry to the United States)
  2. Valid F-1 student visa inside of the passport (exception are students from Canada) 
  3. OPT I-20 form with a valid travel endorsement from GEO (signatures are valid for 6 months) 
  4. Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card 
  5. Proof of current employment or offer letter


Students whose absence from the U.S. will be longer than 5 months must meet with Vaolele Stawiarski, DSO: Renewing Your Passport or Student Visa

Renewing Your Passport

All non-immigrants in the United States must maintain a valid passport at all times. Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future when entering and re-entering the United States and also when applying for a visa. Students must contact the local embassy or consulate of their home country for instructions on renewing their passport.

Students whose expired passport has a valid visa are still able to use that visa if they have the old passport. Students must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.


Renewing Your Student Visa

Students are able to stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as they are properly maintaining their status by being in possession of a valid I-20 and valid I-94 card. However, if students are traveling, they must have a valid visa in order to re-enter the United States.

Visas cannot be renewed inside the United States. Once students have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, they should review the Embassy or Consulate’s website for details on the visa renewal process including required documents. 

Students are also able to check on visa wait times for a specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the U.S. Department of State website.

The Department of State recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country.  

Students who must apply for a visa in a third country must remember the following:

  • Students cannot return to the United States until their visa has been issued.
  • If a background check is required, students must wait until it is cleared and the wait could be several weeks.  
  • If the visa application is denied, students will not be able to return to the United States and will be required to return to their home country. 
  • If the visa application is denied in Canada or Mexico, the process of Automatic Revalidation does not apply. 
  • Students who plan to renew their visa in Mexico should review GEO’s guidelines below on visa renewal process in Mexico.


Travel to Canada, Mexico & Adjacent Islands

This regulation of Automatic Revalidation provides that, under certain circumstances, a person with an expired F-1 visa in their passport can re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and "adjacent islands" (except Cuba) with an expired nonimmigrant visa. The absence outside the United States cannot exceed 30 days and the I-94 card must remain valid.

To re-enter the United States under the benefit of automatic revalidation of visa, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students could have traveled only to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands
  2. The absence cannot exceed 30 days
  3. Students cannot apply for a new U.S. non-immigrant visa during this time 
  4. This regulation does not apply to nationals of countries designated as "state sponsors of terrorism" 
  5. Students have maintained and intend to maintain non-immigrant status in the United States 
  6. Students carry a valid passport with expired visa, I-20 with valid travel signature


IMPORTANT: Students must retain and be in possession of their current I-94 (arrival/departure record) card when leaving the United States to ensure successful re-entry back to the United States.

Citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for the automatic revalidation benefit and would be required to have a valid visa for re-entry.

Students who are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean by cruise ship must contact the cruise line before purchasing the cruise package to confirm they will recognize automatic revalidation and allow them to travel outside the U.S. without a valid F-1 visa.


Adjacent Islands

Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Dutch territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea [Reference INA, Section 101(b)(5)].

For more information, please review the Revised Regulation on Automatic Revalidation.


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