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Travel and Re-entry Tips

International Admissions

8 CFR 214.2 (f) 4 Temporary Absence Detail procedural guidelines are not always defined in the regulations. The following are suggested procedures.

What the Student Does:

  1. Obtain a travel signature from a Designated School Official on current I-20 if it is still valid.
  2. If there have been significant changes in the I-20, request a new I-20.
  3. Make sure passport is still valid.
  4. Make sure I-94 card in still in passport.
  5. Check to see if F-1 entry visa is still valid.

If a new visa is needed:

  1. The visa is only an entry document in the US! It has no bearing on your legal status while studying in the US.
  2. F-1 entry visas cannot be obtained inside the U.S.
  3. Apply at an U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S. for the visa.
  4. If in Taiwan, go to the American Institute in Taiwan (in lieu of the Embassy).
  5. Contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for required documents and preferred application procedures. Many of the websites can be found at
  6. Generally speaking, the following documents are needed when obtaining a visa:
  7. A valid I-20
  8. A valid passport
  9. A valid I-94 card
  10. Proof of finances
  11. Fee
  12. Old/previous I-20s
  13. Copy of transcript to verify full-time enrollment
  14. If applicable, I-797 Approval Notice of a change of status to F-1 (only for students who have completed a change of status while in US)

It is recommended to apply for a new visa in one's home country. Applications in a third country usually result in higher denial rates. However, in some circumstances, one may choose to apply in Canada or Mexico. If a third country national wishes to apply in Canada or Mexico, there are detailed procedures and appointments to make. They are outlined at

Travel to Canada, Mexico, and Adjacent Islands

Reprinted by permission of University of Kansas, International Student Services Office.