Graduate International Student Admissions & Services
Traveling Outside the US
Students who travel outside the US and intend to return the US in F-1 status must have the following documents upon reentry:
- Valid F-1 visa
- Valid passport with an expiration date that is at least six months valid for at least six months after the date of reentry, unless exempt from the passport requirement.
- UT Tyler Form I-20 signed on page 3 by the graduate international student advisor :
- Current students – the advisor travel signature must be valid within the last 12 months of date of re-entry of US.
- OPT students - the advisor travel signature must be valid within the last 6 months of date of re-entry of US.
- Additional documents for students on Post-Completion and 17-Month Extension OPT:
- OPT Employment Authorization Card
- Proof of Employment
Advisor Travel Signature
Students who require the graduate international student advisor’s signature on page 3 of their Form I-20 for travel should contact the advisor.
Automatic Visa Revalidation
Students may be eligible to depart and reenter the US with an expired F-1 visa if they meet the following criteria:
- Travel is to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent Caribbean islands
- Travel is 30 days or less
- Have a valid I-94
- Purpose of travel is not to apply for renewal of US visa
- Citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korean, Sudan, or Syria are not eligible
To travel with automatic visa revalidation, students should not surrender their I-94 when departing the US. They will present their I-94 at the port of entry at the time of reentry. A new I-94 will not be issued.
Please note that this process refers only to reentry to the US. Students are advised to determine if a visa is necessary to enter Canada, Mexico, or adjacent Caribbean islands.
Travel Greater than Five Months
Students lose F-1 nonimmigrant status if they remain outside the US for more than five months. To reenter the US in F-1 status after an absence longer than five months, students must obtain a new initial Form I-20 and a new F-1 visa. These students must be a full-time student for one academic year before they are eligible for off-campus employment.