Traveling on an F-1 visa

Required Documents

F-1 students who are planning to travel outside of the United States must have the following documents with them to be eligible to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid (unexpired) U.S. visa
  • Valid Form I-20 signed for travel on page 3 by the P/DSO within the last year.

F-1 students at The College of Wooster must:

  • Notify ISS prior to travelling outside of the U.S. and complete the required travel paperwork
  • Secure a travel endorsement on your Form I-20. A new I-20 will be issued when applicable.

Students who need a travel signature or supporting documents for a visa renewal should request these forms from ISS at least 1 week prior to their anticipated travel date.

Travel to/through Canada

Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or through Canada by air. You will most likely need an eTA even if you do not plan to leave the airport. You should apply for an eTA online.

Returning to the US from Canada

To re-enter the US, you will need to present a valid passport, a current I-20 endorsed for re-entry, and your F-1 visa. Citizens of many nations (not all) are allowed to present an expired F-1 visa when crossing the border from Canada to the US. This is called “automatic revalidation.” If you have an expired visa, visit ISS to confirm your eligibility for automatic revalidation.

Travel to/from Mexico

The automatic revalidation process is also valid for re-entry into the US from Mexico. Log onto the Mexican Embassy website to find more information. Contact the Mexican Embassy by phone to request an application for a visa to visit Mexico.

Material on this website is general and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or replace professional legal advice, and you should not rely on it solely when making decisions about your immigration status or reporting requirements.