If you will be traveling outside the U.S., you must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 form in order to re-enter the U.S. A travel signature from a Slutzker Center advisor is valid for ONE YEAR (6 months if on OPT).
If you are in Syracuse and need a travel signature, bring the following documents for you (and your dependents) to the Slutzker Center in order to receive a travel signature:
The following is a brief summary of the documents you should have with you whenever you travel, whether it's within the U.S. or abroad. You can also visit travel.state.gov for information about travel, or the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for FAQ for F Non-immigrants.
Passport: In order to travel, your passport must be valid at least six months into the future, according to U.S. immigration law. Passports may be renewed at your country’s embassy or consulate in the U. S. For a list of consulates in New York City, click here.
U.S. Visa: Check the U.S. visa stamp in your passport to see if your visa has expired. Check your visa stamp to be sure it is the category for the status you currently hold (for example, if your visa is for F-2, are you F-2 currently or have you changed your status to F-1 since the visa was issued)? Also check your visa stamp for the number of entries permitted.
I-20 or DS-2019: Be sure your I-20 or DS-2019 has not expired, and that it has a valid signature for travel. Full-time, matriculated students need to obtain a new signature within 12 months of your proposed entry date. Students on practical training must have a new signature within 6 months of your proposed entry date. Verify that the information on your I-20 or DS-2019 is still accurate.
TRANSCRIPTS - It is highly recommended that F-1 and J-1 students who will need new U.S. visas carry copies of their transcripts with them to show the consular officials that you have been making satisfactory progress towards your degree. An increasing number of consulates are asking for transcripts when students come to renew F-1 visas.
FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION - It's a good idea to carry financial documentation when re-entering the U.S. You *must* have financial documentation with you if you will be applying for a new visa.
PROOF OF IDENTITY - Carry your student picture ID card with you, and any old passports which you may still have.
LETTER OF REGISTRATION FROM REGISTRAR’S OFFICE
Have you been maintaining the conditions of your non-immigrant 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, refraining from unauthorized employment, not letting your 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 Slutzker Center for International Services BEFORE departing the U.S., as you may risk being denied permission to return.
Can I travel in the US or abroad? There are no restrictions on travel within the U.S. But you should make sure that you have made copies of all immigration and other important documents in case something happens to the originals. When you travel long distances from Syracuse, take with you the I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94, and proof of financial support.
When planning a trip to Canada, you should first check whether you will need to obtain a visa to enter Canada.
List of Countries Whose Citizens Require Canadian Visas: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
How to Apply for a Canadian Visa: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp
In general, you must have a valid, unexpired visa to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. If your visa expires, or if you change status while in the U.S., you must obtain a new visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. After short visits to Canada or Mexico, however, your expired non-immigrant visa (e.g., F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, H-1, H-4) may be considered automatically revalidated for re-entry on that particular date. Those in F or J status may additionally qualify for automatic revalidation after travel from some of the adjacent islands. * If you have changed status within the U.S., automatic revalidation would also convert your visa to the appropriate category for that entry date. Automatic revalidation, however, only if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
Tips for Using Automatic Revalidation:
*Adjacent Islands (excluding Cuba): For those in F or J status (but NOT any other status), the automatic revalidation also works for visits of less than 30 days to the adjacent islands excluding Cuba. Adjacent Islands include: Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.
Read U.S. Customs and Border Protection's
Visa Forms: To apply for a new visa, you will need to complete DS-160 application form. The electronic form is available on the State Department web site. You will also need one photograph 1 and 1/2 inches square, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background.
Visa and SEVIS Fees: You will need to have sufficient currency to pay the required visa fees, or a receipt showing that you have paid the visa fees. New F-1 and J-1 students and J-1 scholars must pay the SEVIS fee for their initial visa prior to their visa appointment. The SEVIS fee for F-1 students is $200; for J-1 students and scholars, $180. You can pay the fee online at www.FMJfee.com. Dependents do not have to pay the fee. Continuing students do not have to pay the fee unless they have fallen out of status and wish to re-enter the U.S. in valid status with a new, initial I-20 or DS-2019.
Immigration Documents: You will need your currently valid I-20 or DS-2019 form. If you are a continuing student, you must have a valid travel signature on page 3 of your I-20 or on page 1 of your DS-2019. If there has been a change in your program of study, level of program, or source of funding, you must obtain an updated I-20 or DS-2019 form the Slutzker Center.
We strongly recommend that you carry an Enrollment Verification Letter from the Registrar’s Office, verifying your enrollment at Syracuse University.
Proof of Financial Support: You will also need to show proof of financial support to cover your tuition, fees, and living expenses for 12 months or the length of your program, whichever is shorter.
Non-Immigrant Intent: All non-immigrant student visa applicants must demonstrate that they have binding ties to their home country. You must therefore be prepared to show that you have no intention of abandoning your country, and that you plan to return to your home country upon the completion of your studies. Some U.S. consulates will ask you how you plan to use your U.S. education in your home country, so be ready to explain clearly your plans to return home. If you have any documents establishing your ties, such as home country bank statements or titles to your own personal property (e.g., a house or land), bring them with you to your visa interview.
Academic Transcripts (Returning Students): Many consulates will ask you to present copies of your academic transcripts to prove that you have been maintaining your student status in the U.S. and that you have been making satisfactory progress in your program. Plan to have copies with you, but do not present it to a consular officer unless specifically asked to do so.
For additional information regarding the visa process, please visit the Student Visas page at travel.state.gov.
To locate the nearest Embassy or Consulate, please visit http://www.usembassy.gov/. If you are visiting your home country, you should apply at the U.S. consulate which has jurisdiction over your place of residence. If you will be traveling to a third country, you will need to apply for your visa at the U.S. consulate there. A consulate not in your home country will only issue you a visa if you can prove that you have been maintaining valid status while in the U.S.
It is possible that some U.S. consulates may choose not to accept visa applications except from residents of that country. Therefore, you may wish to contact the specific consulate you plan to visit PRIOR to your departure from the U.S., to be sure that they will accept an application from you.
Consulates in certain countries have instituted new procedures for visa renewal, as opposed to first-time visa applications. At some consulates and embassies, an interview is not required for a visa renewal. Instead, visa applications can be submitted at designated "drop-off" locations, or mailed. At others, visa interviews are still required.
In *all* cases, apply for your visa AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE! Consult the appropriate consulate/embassy to ascertain visa application procedures and requirements and approximate processing time. You can also visit the Visa Wait Times page at travel.state.gov to view the typical wait times for visa interviews and processing at the specific consulate/embassy where you plan to apply. Do not wait until the last minute, or you might have to delay your travel back to the U.S.
Transit Visas: Effective as of March 19, 2002 European Community countries began requiring “airport transit visas” from nationals of certain countries. Other countries may also require transit visas. It is crucial that you check the relevant web site of the embassy for each country that you are traveling through BEFORE YOU DEPART the U.S. Please note that you must obtain this visa transit BEFORE you travel.
Please note that when you apply for a student visa, you may be subject to a security clearance that can cause delays of weeks or even months in the issuance of your visa and your travel to the U.S.
The following are two common types of security clearance that you might encounter:
Field of Study: If a visa applicant's area of study is on the U.S. federal government’s “technology alert list,” which includes many of the science and technology fields, the U.S. consulate may seek a security clearance prior to granting the visa. This process may delay your visa application by anywhere from one to three months. There is no way to know for certain ahead of time whether you will be subject to this type of clearance. If you work in one of the science or technology fields and are returning to the U.S. to resume your studies or research, we advise you to ask your supervisor or chair to write a letter that briefly describes the specific area of your research in layperson’s terms. We also recommend that you carry with you a copy of your CV and one or two of your publications, if you have any. These materials will not necessarily deter a security clearance, but they may expedite the clearance.
Country of Citizenship, Nationality or Birth: A security clearance may also be required by the U.S. consulate if a visa applicant was born in or is a citizen or national of certain countries. The list of countries is not published, but seems to include the following: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and the territories of Gaza and West Bank.
If you have applied for a visa and believe that a security advisory opinion will delay your travel to the U.S., please contact your degree program or department immediately so that they can arrange to defer your degree program start date and/or to cover your teaching or research duties. If you have been waiting for more than one month for the results of a security advisory opinion, please contact the Slutzker Center to inform us of the delay.
If you have questions about visa application procedures or required documents, please contact the particular U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply.
The State Department's Visa Office and many of the U.S. consular posts overseas have their own web sites that provided information on visa application procedures specific to the individual posts. Information on consular post policies, procedures and documentary requirements can be obtained via these web sites.
These sites may be accessed from the State Department's main web page. One feature that a number of the consulates have is an e-mail option. This may be used to ask specific questions of the consulate. The consulate web sites may prove to be a valuable resource for international students and scholars.
Worried that your flight might be delayed? Please contact your airline, the airport and check this website - http://www.fly.faa.gov