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Travel Seminar 1 st & 3 rd Wednesday of Month: 1:30 pm Please bring : Original I-20/DS-2019, passport, visa, I-94 card, proof of duration of health insurance, and proof of medical evacuation and repatriation coverage

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Travel Seminar

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travel seminar

Travel Seminar

1st & 3rd Wednesday of Month: 1:30 pm

Please bring: Original I-20/DS-2019, passport, visa,

I-94 card, proof of duration of health

insurance, and proof of medical

evacuation and repatriation coverage

preparing for the travel seminar
Preparing for the Travel Seminar
  • Bring your original I-20/DS-2019, passport, visa, I-94 card,

proof of duration of health insurance, and proof of medical

evacuation and repatriation coverage for Advisor to review

  • Complete Travel Signature Request Form distributed when

you sign-in for the seminar

-- Note your anticipated departure date and destination

on the Travel Signature Request Form

-- Indicate any changes in your course of study, local, or

immigration information on the Travel Signature

Request Form

health insurance
Health Insurance

You must have health insurance coverage (including

medical evacuation & repatriation) valid for the entire

academic year (August 06-August 07). If you are

graduating before August, you must have the coverage

valid until the end of the term in which you are graduating.

Dropping insurance during vacation periods is not acceptable

if you plan to return to continue your studies the next


Lapses in health insurance coverage are risky due to:

  • the unpredictability of accidents and medical needs
  • any conditions you were being treated for prior to the lapse

may be regarded as pre-existing conditions and thus not covered by your new insurance plan

travel signature
Travel Signature
  • In order to obtain a travel signature, you must maintain status

-- Registered full-time or have submitted a request to study less than full-time

-- Have valid I-20 or DS-2019

-- Have not engaged in unauthorized employment

-- Have reported all changes to program of study and changes of address

-- Have health insurance for yourself and any dependents(including medical

evacuation and repatriation benefits)

  • A travel signature from a Slutzker Center Advisor is valid for 1 year except during OPT or AT (valid 6 months)

-- If you are concerned about your status or issues related to your particular

case, you may request a more current travel signature

  • An advisor will review your documents after the seminar and if they are all current and satisfactory, your I-20 or DS-2019 will be signed for travel today
seminar overview
Seminar Overview
  • Travel Within the United States
  • Travel Outside of the United States

-- Travel with dependents

-- Canada, Mexico, Adjacent Islands

-- Beyond North America

  • Returning to the United States
  • Traveling to Obtain a Visa
  • Post-Completion Advisories
things to consider
New or returning student?

F-1 or J-1 visa?

When are you traveling?

Where are you traveling?

Why are you traveling?

Have you applied for OPT?

Will you have completed

your course of study?

Traveling by air, land, or sea?

Traveling through another country?

Will your immigration documents be valid when you plan to re-enter the U.S.?

Are you traveling with


Things to Consider…
travel within the u s
Travel within the U.S.

Law and immigration enforcement agents may randomly

stop and question you during routine activities such as

driving in your car or waiting for a bus at a bus station.

Be prepared:

  • Carry original passport and visa documents (I-20/DS-2019 and

I-94 card)

  • Carry your University ID card
  • If you are applying for a change of status, visa, or EAD card, carry your application receipt as proof of pending application

Individuals without valid travel documents may be detained,

arrested, threatened with deportation, and/or taken into

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody.

travel outside the us special registration nseers
Travel Outside the US: Special Registration(NSEERS)

As part of the non-immigrant visa application process,

consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates are

required to identify individuals who will have to follow the

special registration requirements in the U.S..

Further security checks after initial immigration inspection are typically

required for:

  • Certain citizens or nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria, as designated by the DHA Secretary in the Federal Register.
  • Males age 16-45 from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
  • Foreign nationals of any country may be asked by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) officer to undergo Special Registration if they feel they may be a national security threat

If you are subject to special registration procedures, it is your

responsibility to make certain that your entry and departure is

documented by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)

inspecting officer, every time you leave and re-enter the U.S..

This may add a significant amount of time onto departure so please plan accordingly.

You are required to report your departure from the U.S. by appearing

before a USCBP inspecting officer:

  • at an approved port
  • on the same day that you leave the U.S.

Failure to follow the proper registration procedure could result

in your being permanently barred from entering the U.S..

travel to canada mexico adjacent islands
Travel to Canada, Mexico, Adjacent Islands

*Travel documents for absence less than 5 months:

  • Passport—valid 6 months beyond your date of re-entry
  • U.S. visa and I-94 card

-- Automatic Visa Revalidation: You may be eligible to re-enter the U.S. from

Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands (not Cuba) on expired visa if:

- you are in lawful status and not terminated in SEVIS;

- your visit was 30 days or less;

- you are not a citizen of “state sponsors of terrorism;” and

(Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Cuba)

- you did not just apply for a U.S. visa in Canada or Mexico and get denied

  • Valid, accurate I-20 or DS-2019 with current travel signature
  • May require an additional visa- consult Consulate prior to travel

-- Canada (Can apply via the mail or at the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo)

-- Mexico

* Originals, not copies

travel to canada mexico adjacent islands11
Travel to Canada, Mexico, Adjacent Islands

If you are exiting the U.S. and traveling to Canada, Mexico, or

Adjacent Islandsand:

  • are not an individual seeking a visa renewal;
  • have maintained your lawful non-immigrant status in the U.S.; and
  • intend to resume that status upon your return

you should keep your I-94 card provided it is valid beyond the

time of expected return to the United States.

If you were previously required to do special registration and:

  • Exit and re-enter the U.S. by land:

Stop on the U.S. side of the border at Customs and Border Protection

to complete your registration procedure

  • Exit and re-enter the U.S. by air or sea:

Complete the exit procedure at an approved U.S. departure port

traveling beyond north america
Traveling Beyond North America

*Travel Documents for absence less than 5 months:

  • Passport—valid 6 months beyond your date of re-entry
  • Valid U.S. Visa
  • I-94 card– Be sure to surrender your I-94 card when you exit.

Failure to do so may effect your eligibility to re-enter the U.S..

  • Valid, accurate I-20 or DS-2019 with current travel signature
  • Transcript from Registrar’s Office(106 Steele Hall)
  • Letter of Registration

(If you are traveling during the school year, you should obtain letter at the Registrar’s Office; If the spring semester is over and you are traveling over the summer, you should ask your academic department to issue a letter verifying your enrollment/progress towards your degree.)

  • Financial documentation

-- e.g., bank statements, assistantshipletter

  • University ID card/additional photo ID

* Originals, not copies

travel documents continued
Travel Documents (continued)
  • Slutzker Center Advisor contact information

-- Slutzker Center: (315) 443-2457 (Summer Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am- 4:30pm)

-- Public Safety: (315) 443-2224 (For emergency after Slutzker Center hours)

  • Additional visas may be necessary

-- Entry Visa (e.g., visitor, tourist)

- Some individuals visiting countries they are not citizens of must obtain a visa

indicating the nature of their visit

-- Transit Visa(e.g., visitor in transit)

- Some individuals “transiting” into a country because travel requires an

intermediate stop in a third country are required to obtain Transit Visas prior

to traveling

-- Change airports; Change airlines; Stay overnight in the airport

- Transit visas are commonly needed for travel through Europe (e.g., UK, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands) however there are sometimes exceptions for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars

Please consult the embassy prior to travel to determine if any

visa(s) are necessary.

baggage inspection requirements
Baggage Inspection Requirements

Everyone who travels by air must go through a Federal

Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) screening

process prior to boarding the plane.

  • Travel documents are reviewed

-- Airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID (e.g., passport)

  • Individuals are screened through a metal detector

-- Must remove shoes, coat, metal objects

-- If detector is set off, additional screening may be necessary

  • Checked and carry-on baggage is screened for prohibited items

--Travel-size liquid-based toiletries (3 ounces or less) that fit comfortably

in 1 QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top bag may now be brought in carry-on

(e.g., toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, sunblock, perfume/cologne, liquid foundation)

--After clearing security, travelers can now bring beverages and other items

purchased in the secure boarding area on-board aircraft.

dependent travel
Dependent Travel

Dependents in F-2/J-2 status:

  • Should carry documents similar to those the primary F-1 student/J-1 exchange visitor carries when traveling

- Valid visa - Valid passport

- I-94 card -Valid 1-20/DS-2019 with current travel signature

- If applied for OPT: Copy of primary’s I-20 endorsed for OPT and EAD

  • Should carry documentation that the primary is enrolled and maintaining their status

- Transcript/ Letter of Enrollment/ Appointment Letter

  • Are not required to travel with the F-1/J-1 primary
  • May remain in the U.S. without the primary as long as the F-1/J-1 maintains his/her current status and will return after a temporary absence using the same SEVIS ID number

- If the F-1/J-1 primary will be outside the U.S. for 5 months or more, current

status will be terminated and a new initial attendance I-20 will have to be

issued for the primary and dependent(s)

u s visit entry procedures
U.S. VISIT: Entry Procedures

U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology (US-

VISIT) is a system for keeping records of the entry of

non-immigrants traveling to the United States.

Under US-VISIT Entry procedures,

  • Your passport and visa documents (including I-94, I-20/DS2019) will be reviewed
  • An inkless finger-scanning of your left & right index finger will be conducted
  • A digital photograph will be taken
  • You may be questioned about your visit to the U.S.

An entry confirmation will be added to your travel

records to demonstrate compliance with the terms of your

admission and to verify that you are the same person who

received the visa you are utilizing to travel and enter the

United States.

i 94 card
I-94 Card
  • On the airplane, train, or ship/ at the border:
    • If you surrendered your I-94 card to exit the U.S., you will be given a new I-94 card to fill-out - You must have an I-94 card to re-enter the U.S.

Date of Entry

Non-Immigrant Status

Length of Stay

  • The immigration officer will stamp your I-94 card and note:
  • - Your non-immigrant status (F-1/F-2or J-1/J-2)- The date of your entry - The authorized period you may stay in the U.S. (D/S)
  • (Duration of Status)

Submit a copy of your new I-94 card to SCIS every time you travel

re entry issues
Re-Entry Issues

If the immigration officer reviewing your documents:

  • Does not stamp your I-94 card or new I-20
  • Improperly marks your I-94 card or new I-20

politely inform the officer of this and ask for assistance.

If the officer will not correct the issue, do not push the matter as you

risk being issued an “expedited removal” which could result in a 5 year

ban from entering the U.S..

If you do not receive the proper markings, you must make

an appointment to meet with a Slutzker Center Advisor.

After meeting with an Advisor, you may be able to obtain

the proper markings from an immigration officer at either:

  • The Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, or
  • Customs and Border Protection at the U.S. border
re entry issues continued
Re-Entry Issues (continued)

If there is a problem with your immigration documents, the

immigration officer may give you a Form I-515A granting you

lawful admission to the U.S. for 30 days and eligibility for all

of the benefits associated with your status.

In order to maintain status,within those 30 days you are required to

meet with a Slutzker Center Advisor and send the documents listed

below to the address that is indicated on the back of the form.

  • Completed Form I-515A
  • Your original I-20/DS-2019 signed by a Slutzker Center Advisor
  • You original I-94 card
re applying for a u s visa
Re-Applying for a U.S. Visa

Visa renewals should be applied for at the U.S. Consulate

in your home country.

U.S. Department of State visa information sheets are available online.

  • F-1 students
  • J-1 exchange visitors
  • Procedures for visa applications at a specific foreign U.S. consulate can be obtained by selecting the appropriate embassy from the embassy list.

Though not recommended, in some instances it is possible to

apply for a U.S. visa in a third country such as Canada or

Mexico. This is riskier and denials are more frequent.

  • Some U.S. Foreign Consulates will not accept renewal application from non-residents

(Consulates along the U.S. border no longer accept applications from non-resident third

country nationals from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria)

  • If you are denied, you must return home and re-apply for a visa and be approved

in order to re-enter the U.S.

traveling to obtain a visa
Traveling to Obtain a Visa

It is recommended that you schedule a visa appointment

well in advance and prior to exiting the U.S..

Be sure to check visa appointment waiting times at the consulate

prior to traveling.

Also, be sure to check the hours of operation as Consulates may

close temporarily for breaks or holidays.

If visa processing delays will interfere with your ability to

resume your studies, it is advisable to cancel your travel

plans since you may remain in the U.S. with an expired

visa as long as you are maintaining your non-immigrant


security policies
Security Policies

Individuals who are citizens of certain countries or with certain

backgrounds may be subject to special security clearances that will

lengthen the visa application processing time.

  • Security Check and Special Registration

Individuals from countries identified by the U.S. Department of State as being state sponsors of terrorism or perceived to have nuclear capability. (Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria)

  • Background Check

If you have ever been arrested, or if you have a name that is the same as or similar to someone who has been arrested

  • Technology Alert List (TAL)

Students who are considered to be majoring in “sensitive areas of study” as determined by the U.S. government (e.g., physics)or from countries perceived to pose national security threats or nuclear capability(China, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia).A TAL delay can take several months to resolve.

visa application requirements
Visa Application Requirements
  • Passport—valid 6 months beyond date of re-entry
  • Valid, accurate I-20 or DS-2019 with current travel signature
  • One current 2x2 photograph(passport-sized)
  • Completed visa application forms
    • Form DS-156 (Non-Immigrant Visa Application)
    • Form DS-158 (Contact Information and Work History for Non-Immigrant Visa Applicant)

Some Applicants:

Also required to complete and sign Form DS-157

Child Dependents:

Required to submit additional form, even if they are included in a parent’s passport

  • Visa processing fee receipt or payment
  • I-901 SEVIS fee receipt or payment if for initial attendance(if applicable)
  • Embassy interview
  • Biometric procedures: Finger-scan and digital picture
visa application continued
Visa Application (continued)

Be prepared to also provide:

  • Transcript and Letter of Registration
  • Financial evidence indicating sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during your program of study

-- e.g., bank statements, tax documents, assistantship letter

  • Evidence of binding ties to your home country

Applicants with dependents must also provide:

  • Proof of relationship to F-1/J1 (e.g., marriage license, birth certificates)

Applicants who may be subject to Technology Alert List (TAL):

  • Resume including research and presentations
  • Departmental letter of support noting relevance of study to TAL

Landed Immigrant applying for a U.S. visa in Canada must provide

evidence of:

  • Landed Immigrant status(e.g., Permanent resident/Maple Leaf card)
  • Established residency in Canada(e.g., home ownership, employment, family ties)

It is not advisable to apply for a new U.S. visa in Canada if you

cannot prove equally strong ties to Canada and your home country

post completion travel advisories
Post-Completion Travel Advisories

After completing an F-1 program you have 60 days to prepare to depart the U.S.;

if you have completed a J-1 program you have 30 days to prepare to depart the


Travel and re-entry is not permitted during the exit grace period if:

  • You have not been accepted into a new program of study (e.g., Master’s, Ph. D.) and received an I-20/DS-2019 for the program from the college
  • You have not received (F-1) Optional Practical Training or (J-1) Academic Training Approval
  • You have not received a new visa for re-entry (e.g., B-2 tourist)

If you have submitted an application for OPT (pending or approved) or have

received Academic Training authorization and travel with an expired visa:

  • You must obtain a new visa while abroad in order to re-enter the U.S..

Visa issuance for individuals on practical training can be problematic since it is

more difficult to prove compelling ties to your home country because you are

returning to the U.S. for employment and that may be interpreted as a desire to

obtain H-1B or permanent resident status.

f 1 post completion opt travel
F-1: Post-Completion OPT Travel

If OPT has been approved, also travel with the following


  • New, valid I-20 endorsed for OPT
  • Slutzker Center Advisor’s travel signature from last 6 months
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • Employment Authorization Card (EAD Card)
  • Letter from your employer verifying your employment status

If OPT approval is pending, travel is not advised.

If you chose to disregard this recommendation and travel, you must also carry the following documents:

  • New, valid I-20 endorsed for OPT
  • Slutzker Center Advisor’s travel signature from last 6 months
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • USCIS Service Center Receipt of OPT application
  • Letter from a U.S. employer indicating a job offer if you have received one
j 1 post completion academic training
J-1: Post-Completion Academic Training

If you plan to leave the U.S. after you complete your program

of study and re-enter the country for J-1 academic training,

you must apply for work authorization with your RO/ARO prior

to exiting the U.S..

To re-enter the U.S. in J-1 student status, you must have:

  • Valid DS-2019
  • Slutzker Center Advisor’s travel signature from last 6 months
  • Valid J-1 visa
  • A valid passport
  • A valid Academic Training Authorization Letter
reminders and travel updates
Reminders and Travel Updates
  • The Slutzker Center for International Services strongly recommends that you attend a travel seminar prior to departing the U.S. since immigration regulations change frequently
  • Please submit copies of updated documents to SCIS (e.g. new I-94 after travel, renewed passport, renewed visa)
  • Be sure to keep all immigration documents together in a safe place
  • Be aware of immigration document expiration dates and plan ahead to have them renewed or updated
  • Additional information on immigration issues and Slutzker Center events is available on our website at: and SCISNEWS