Travel and U.S. Re-entry for F-1

Re-entering the US

Present the following documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon re-entry:

  1. Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  2. Valid Visa (with multiple entry stamp)
  3. SEVIS fee receipt (I-901): Don’t have your receipt? You can print it at
  4. Most Recent Transcripts (recommended)
  5. Financial certification (bank statement, department stipend letter) (recommended)
  6. I-20 form with valid travel signature (see below)
  • Travel signatures are good for one year, or until the end of the program, whichever date is earlier.
  • F-1 students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have travel documents signed every 6 months.
  • The ISSO can email a travel-signed I-20 to you to print out. To request a new I-20 with travel signature, please complete our request form. Once you receive your new I-20, you must print it out for travel purposes.

At the port of entry, your passport will be date stamped and returned to you. Obtain your electronic I-94 form at

Renewing Your F-1 Visa Stamp

Review the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply for your visa for location specific information.

  • When renewing your visa, anticipate delays, especially if you will be traveling during holiday or peak travel seasons. Security checks can delay visa issuance by several weeks.
  • Please note that you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee for visa renewals. The SEVIS fee is a one-time fee paid prior to starting your F-program.
  • You can only renew your visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

U.S. consulates and embassies will generally require that you:

  1. Submit the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application: DS-160 tips can be found at
  2. Pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee
  3. Make an appointment to interview for the F-visa at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The consulate will not schedule an appointment for you. Review the Department of State website for visa interview tips.
  4. Bring the following documents to your interview:
  • I-20 form
  • SEVIS fee receipt (I-901)
  • Financial Certification
  • Visa Application Confirmation Page
  • Visa Application Fee Payment Receipt
  • Most recent Transcripts
  • Passport (valid at least 6-months into the future)

NOTE: Canadian citizens do not need to apply for a visa.

For an overview of the F-1 visa application process, please see the U.S. Department of State website.