Traveling Outside the U.S.

When travelling outside the United States, you need to have the proper documents to return. Anytime you travel, please Travel Endorsement Request Form and leave your I-20 / DS-2019 at the CIE at least one week before you will be leaving the Bay Area. If you have dependents in the U.S. and they will travel as well, they will need separate travel documents.

In general, when you travel outside the U.S., you will need:

  1. Your I-20/ DS-2019 authorized for travel by an International Student Advisor each time you travel outside the US (or within the last 6 months if you are utilizing OPT)
  2. A valid passport
  3. A valid F-1/ J-1 visa

If you are traveling to a country other than your own, be sure to check with a consulate or embassy of that country. You may need to apply for an entry visa.

Traveling while on Post-Completion OPT or OPT STEM

CIE does not recommend traveling while on OPT, however, if you do decide to travel you will need the following documents:

1. Valid passport- the expiration date should be at least six months into the future at any given time.

2. Valid F-1 visa- if your F-1 visa is expired, you must apply for a new one at a U.S. embassy or consulate prior to your return.  (Note: Canadian citizens do not need a visa stamp.)

3. Endorsed I-20- Page two should list your employer's information and be signed by a CIE advisor within the last six months.

4. Valid EAD card

5. Evidence of a job offer or resumption of employment.  If you are returning to the U.S without evidence of a job offer, you may be questioned at the port of entry.

Please submit the Travel Endorsement Request Form to cie@csueastbay.edu to request an endorsement for travel. 

If your employer has filed for H-1B on your behalf, check with your employer about any travel plans as leaving the U.S. while an H-1B application is pending may jeopardize your application.

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