TIPS – When traveling during a school break

  • Come to the ISC with your current I-20 2 weeks BEFORE travel to obtain your college P/DSO signature required on page 3 of your I-20. Please call in advance to confirm staff availability 916-558-2486.
    * Summer travelers should also have proof of next semester enrollment and payment of courses.
  • Have a valid U.S. Visa & Passport with a minimum of 6 month prior to expiration (if needed, ask us for a renew letter).
  • When traveling, always hand-carry your documents; never place them in your checked luggage. An F-1 student must have the various documents (i.e., forms) issued by the U.S. government or the school where you are enrolled which show you are studying legally in the United States.
  • Keep a copy of all your legal documents at home.
  • When you return to the US, check-in at the International Student Center within 10 days.

Note:  More than 5 months outside U.S. without approval is cause for F-1 Visa cancellation.

Lost/Stolen Passport – You must immediately replace a lost or stolen passport. It is your primary legal proof of your identity. You will need a valid passport to leave the United States and enter another country. Report the loss or theft of your passport to the nearest embassy or consulate for your country. Those officials can give you information on how you can replace it. If someone stole your passport, you should file a police report and tell your DSO.

Lost/Stolen Visa – If you lose your student visa, which is inside your passport, you can still remain in the United States to study until the date listed on your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. You only need a visa when entering the United States. However, you must report your lost visa to the issuing embassy or consulate. You cannot replace it while you are in the United States, so if you travel home for a break, you must re-apply for a new visa at the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to re-enter the United States. You may not be readmitted to the United States with a lost or expired visa.

As a precaution, after you are issued forms and have confirmed that they are correct, it is also a good idea to make copies of them and keep them in a safe place in case they are ever lost or stolen.