International Student Service Center

TRAVELING ABROAD

* PASSPORTS
In order to re-enter the United States, your passport MUST be valid at least six months into the future. Passports may be renewed at your country's embassy or consulate in the United States.

* SEVIS I-20 OR DS-2019
You should be traveling using your most recently issued SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. However, be sure to save all of your previous SEVIS I-20s (or DS-2019s - formerly known as IAP-66s), as they represent your immigration “history” in the United States.

The SEVIS I-20 has to be signed for traveling on page 3 by an ISSC advisor.

Once your SEVIS I-20 has been signed, it is valid for travel for one year, as long as you are registered full time each semester and all information on your SEVIS I-20 remains the same.

****Lately immigration officers at the airport ask students for their Initial SEVIS I-20, Continuing attendance SEVIS I-20 and also proof of the SEVIS fee payment.****

* SPECIAL REGISTRATION APPLICANTS
If you were required to go through the NSEERS 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/or from one of the 25 designated countries, or a citizen of either gender from Cuba, Liberia, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, or Syria, there is a special exit procedure that you must follow before you can depart the United States. Failure to do so can result in your being permanently barred from entering the United States. Although certain aspects of special registration have been suspended, the exit procedure remains in effect. Generally, this exit procedure will take place at the airport where your overseas flight will depart. The exit procedure can add several hours to your departure schedule, so be certain to allow plenty of extra time so that you do not miss your flight! You should have been given information regarding the exit procedure when you went through your special registration inspection.

* US-VISIT EXIT PROCEDURES (PILOT PROGRAM)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has implemented a pilot exit procedure under U.S.-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program). This departure procedure requires that foreign nationals go through a process of immigration inspection that includes digital photographs and index prints at the airport prior to leaving the United States. US-VISIT departure programs are currently being tested at approximately twenty U.S. airports, including several that are popular for Baruch students: Detroit, Newark, and Philadelphia. For more information, visit: http://www.dhs.gov

* I-94 ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE CARD
You will need to surrender your I-94 card upon your departure from the United States. You will be issued a new I-94 card with a new admission number upon your re-entry to the United States. 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 , who are not applying for a U.S. visa while there, 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.

* U.S. VISA
Check your U.S. visa stamp inside your passport. Has your visa stamp expired? If it is still valid, is it for multiple entry, or has the entry been used up? Finally, is the category for which the visa was issued the status you currently hold (for example, if your visa is F-2, are you currently in F-2 status or did that status change after you entered the United States)? If you are in F-1 or J-1 status and traveling to Canada, Mexico, or islands adjacent to North America, you do not need a valid U.S. visa as long as you have been maintaining your status, have a valid passport and I-20 or DS-2019 and are entering those countries for tourist purposes and your stay will be thirty days or less (you DO need a valid U.S. visa if you are a citizen of Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, or Cuba). However, travel to all other countries will require that you have a valid U.S. visa before you may re-enter the United States. This is especially true if you changed your non-immigrant status while in the United States (for example, changed from F-2 to F-1). This will mean applying for a new visa at the U.S. consulate in the country you will visit.

* BARUCH ID CARD
Carry your current BARUCH ID card with you as supporting documentation.

* LETTER OF CERTIFICATION
This is a letter issued by the ISSS that verifies that you are a student at Baruch College and that you are maintaining valid status. It is required for a new visa application. This letter is also required if you will be applying for a Canadian tourist visa. Any international student traveling outside the United States who will be applying for a new F-1 or J-1 visa should request such a letter from the ISSC at least ten days prior to travel.

* MAINTAINING STATUS
If you are an F-1 or J-1 student, this means maintaining full time registration each semester at the school you are authorized to attend, reporting changes of address to the ISSC within ten days, refraining from unauthorized employment, not letting your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 expire, and following the appropriate procedures for school transfer and extensions. J-1s are also required to have health and accident insurance for both themselves and their J-2 dependents, and the insurance must include a medical evacuation and repatriation benefit. If you think you may have violated the conditions of your status, be sure to speak to staff in the ISSC BEFORE departing the United States, as you may risk being denied permission to return.

* TRANSCRIPT
Have an official copy of your Baruch transcript with you ONLY if you will be applying for a new student visa abroad, to show the consular official that you have been making satisfactory progress towards your degree. An increasing number of consulates have asked for transcripts when students come to renew their student visas. In addition to the transcript, also have with you a printed copy of your current semester’s course registration, stamped by the Registrar’s Office.

* FOREIGN VISA
If you are visiting a country other than your own, you may need a visitor’s visa to enter. You can find out about entry requirements for other countries by pointing your web browser to http://www.state.gov

If you are “transiting” into a country, meaning that your flight home requires an intermediate stop in a third country, find out if a transit visa is required, and if so, if it needs to be obtained in advance. This is most common for students with flights stopping in the United Kingdom. For information on the requirements for “Visitor in Transit” visas in the UK visit this web link: http://www.britainusa.com/visas/

* FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION
Documented proof of financial support that appears on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 is only required if you will be applying for a new student visa abroad, OR if you are a national of Canada or Mexico who is traveling home to Canada or Mexico for the summer. However it is recommended that you carry such information with you when returning from a trip abroad, even if your visa is not new.

* STUDENTS ON OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING
If you have completed your studies and have applied for Optional Practical Training, you may travel outside the United States while the OPT application is pending, provided that you can present the USCIS Processing Center Receipt, proving that the OPT application has been filed. However, once the EAD card for OPT is issued to you, and you decide to travel abroad, you can only re-enter the United States to resume employment. Thus, you must carry with you written documentation from the employer verifying your employment or a job offer, as well as the EAD card. DHS has clarified that the F-1 student does not need to have already begun actual employment before leaving, as long as the student has a job offer to which to return.

You must have your USCIS Processing Center Receipt (if the OPT application is still pending) or your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and written proof of employment with you, as well as your SEVIS I-20 endorsed for practical training, in order to re-enter the United States. The travel signature on Page 3 of the SEVIS OPT I-20 must be less than six months old. If you are on Optional Practical Training and will need to obtain a new F-1 visa before returning to the United States, you are advised that visa issuance for individuals on optional practical training can be highly problematic, since you may have a hard time proving that you do not intend to immigrate to the United States. Such students are urged to discuss their situation with staff in the International Student Services Center before they travel.