Travel Abroad

Please keep in mind the following important reminders when you travel internationally:

  1. Make sure your I-20 has been signed on page 2 this semester. If it has not been, please submit the “Reprint I-20 Request” e-form on iValpo at least 2 weeks before you travel, selecting “Travel” as your reprint reason. You may pick up the newly signed I-20 from the office within 5 business days.
  2. Make sure you bring the following documents with you when you travel internationally:
    1. A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry.
    2. A visa which will be valid & unexpired on your return date.
    3. An I-20 which will still be valid when you return (e.g., program end date is after your return date), signed for travel.
    4. Your most recent I-94.
    5. Recent financial statement/guarantee to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses in the U.S.
  1. You may also consider bringing the following documents:
    1. I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt
    2. Proof of enrollment in classes in the upcoming semester, such as…
      1. Schedule of classes from DataVU
      2. Degree audit from DataVU
  2. If you have any issues while entering the U.S., please contact our office immediately. The OIP phone number is 219.464.5333, and the office is open 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday (including during Spring Break).  During the weekends or after hours, you may contact the Valpo Police Department (VUPD) at 219.464.5430, and they will forward your call to one of our staff members if needed.
  3. Finally, remember that if you have had any legal issue while in the U.S., this may affect the validity of your visa.  DUI arrests or other kinds of arrests/convictions can result in your visa being canceled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  If you have not notified our office of any such issue, please do so immediately so that we can provide the necessary advice

Travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean

F-1 students may re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa if you travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean for fewer than 30 days (a travel signature from International Programs is still required). However, automatic visa revalidation is NOT available for all students. Please check with an International Programs advisor for details.

Consulates in Chicago

Canadian Consulate,  Mexican Consulate,  Indian Consulate,

Chinese Consulate,  U.K. Consulate

Travel While on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), both 12-month and STEM OPT

  • Traveling outside the U.S. after your OPT has been approved AND after the completion date on your I-20, you must take with you:
    • Your most current I-20 endorsed for travel by OIP (each travel signature is valid for only 6 months during the period of OPT)
    • Your valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
    • A valid passport (at least 6 months into the future from the date of re-entry)
    • A valid F-1 visa stamp
    • Employment letter showing that you are hired or working in your major field of study and will be returning to the U.S. to resume employment
  • Traveling outside of the U.S. while waiting for your OPT to be approved and BEFORE you complete your degree (you’re still enrolled as a student)take these items with you:
    • A valid passport (at least 6 months into the future from the date of re-entry)
    • A valid F-1 visa stamp
    • Your most current I-20 with travel signature (valid for 6 months during OPT)
    • I-797 receipt notice for pending OPT
  • Traveling outside the U.S. while waiting for your OPT to be approved AND AFTER your degree completion:
    • OIP does not recommend students to travel outside the U.S. in this case as it is risky and you may not be allowed to reenter to the U.S. Also, please note that it is very difficult to apply for an F-1 visa while on OPT.  Please see an advisor to discuss your travel options.

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