International Student Info ► Current Students ► Travel

Programs & Events | Immigration | Employment | Travel | Contact Us| Facebook Logo | Instagram Logo

Travel Authorization for Re-Entry

If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. temporarily and return to continue your studies at CSUDH, you must obtain a travel authorization on your I-20 prior to your departure. If you do not have the proper authorization, you may not be able to enter the US. If you plan to travel to another country, you must confirm the entry visa requirements for your citizenship by contacting the Consulate office of the country you plan to visit.

Renewing your F-1 Visa

If your F-1 visa has expired while studying, and if you intend to travel abroad, you will need to renew your visa overseas before returning to the U.S. You cannot renew F-1 visa in the U.S., and the visa renewal process is the same as you have applied for the first time. You will need to present the consular office with financial documents, an official transcript to verify that you have been a full time student, and your intention to return to your home country after completion of you degree. Make sure you take the following documents with you to the US Embassy:

  • Valid passport
  • CSUDH I-20 with a valid travel signature and with current and correct information
  • Official CSUDH transcripts
  • Financial documents indicating the source and amount of money

Automatic Visa Re-validation

For travel to Mexico, Canada, or adjacent islands* less than thirty (30) days, you may be able to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa. For more information, please visit the US Department of State's website: To use automatic visa re-validation the requirements listed below must be met:

  • Valid I-94, Inform the officials or the airline staff that you are an international student with an expired visa
  • Signed I-20
  • Travel must be less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands
  • Have maintained and intend to maintain non-immigrant status
  • Has not applied for a new visa during trip
  • Has never had a visa cancelled under INA222[g]

*Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan or Syria cannot use "automatic visa re-validation".

*Adjacent islands: Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherland's territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea [Cuba is not included].

Travel While on Optional Practical Training (OPT)

If you have been authorized for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and wish to travel, you will need the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:

  • Valid passport (must be valid 6 months from date of entry)
  • Valid, unexpired F-1 visa
  • CSUDH I-20 with valid travel signature (a travel signature is only valid for 6 months while on OPT)
  • Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Letter from current or prospective employer