While traveling, it is important to carry the following travel documents.
SEVIS I-20 OR DS-2019
Check the travel signature on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. You must have your SEVIS I-20 of DS-2019 with you when you travel within the United States. Be sure that your current I-20 or DS-2019 has an authorizing signature for travel no older than six months.
Check the expiration date of your passport. You must have your passport with you for all travel, including travel within the United States. If traveling abroad, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months into the future upon your return to the United States. The office of International Student and Scholar Services has a directory of all foreign consulates and embassies, with addresses and phone numbers, for your reference. You can obtain up-to-date information on passport renewal at http://www.emabassy.org/embassies/.
Check your U.S. visa stamp inside your passport. Has your visa stamp expired? If it is still invalid, is it for multiple entry, or has the entry been used up? Finally, is the category for which the visa was issued the status your currently hold (for example, if your visa is F-02, are you currently in F-2 status or did that status change after you entered the United States ). An expired U.S. visa need only be renewed if you will be traveling outside the United States. The exception is travel to Canada or Mexico, as long as your travel to either of those two countries is for less than thirty days and you are not applying for a U.S. visa there. There is a special rule for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, or Cuba currently in the United States. Such an individual can only enter Canada or Mexico and return to the United States IF he or she has an unexpired multiple-entry visa in the passport for his or her current status. Be sure to read the handout titled “Applying for a New Visa at a U.S. Consulate Abroad.”
I-94 Arrival/Departure Card
You must have your white, I-94 card with you for all travel, even travel within the United States. You will need to surrender your I-94 card if you are departing from the United States. You will be issued a new I-94 card upon your re-entry to the United States with a new admission number. However, your SEVIS ID number (printed at the top right of your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019) will not change. SPECIAL NOTE: F-1 and J-1 students with expired U.S. visas who are traveling to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands for up to 30 days AND who will be resuming their studies upon their return should NEVER surrender their I-94 card. Canadian or Mexican nationals returning to their home country should surrender their I-94 card as they enter their country, and obtain a new I-94 card the next time they enter the United States. Canadian nationals should be sure to carry with them their financial documentation that verifies the information on their I-20 when getting ready to return to the United States.
SMC Student ID Card
Carry your current SMC card with you as supporting documentation.
Special Registration Applicants
If you were required to go through the special registration process either at a U.S. port of entry or as part of a “call-in” registration at a district USCIS office, because you are male and from one of the 25 designated countries, there is a special exit procedure that you must follow before you can depart the United States, at the airport where your overseas flight will depart. Failure to do so can result in your being permanently barred from entering the United States. For a description of the requirement, and a list of designated exit ports and specific information on their locations and hours of operation, go to: http://www.ice.gov/graphics/enforce.imm/specreg.WalkawayMaterial.pdf