Travel and Re-Entry to the U.S.
To re-enter the U.S. after a temporary absence you must carry the following documents
- Valid and updated I-20 or DS-2019 with travel endorsement (also known as a travel signature) from ISSO staff within last year (6 months while on OPT)
(A signed scanned copy of your I-20 will be uploaded into your ISSOConnect.uncc.edu portal within 5 business days of submission. You will be able to print the I-20 and use it for travel purposes. All U.S. government agencies are accepting e-signed I-20s.)
- Valid passport (at least 6 months into the future)
- Valid U.S. visa (some exceptions may apply for travel to Canada or Mexico)
- Current proof of financial support
- Unofficial transcript
- OPT & STEM OPT students must have their EAD and employment verification letter from their employer
- Make sure that you are in lawful immigration status and eligible to return to the U.S.
- Upon your re-entry to the U.S. you can print your I-94 here
Additionally, please read the sections below if they apply to you or you have concerns.
Many students want an answer to the question, "Is it safe to travel internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic?". The ISSO cannot answer this question for you -- it's impossible. What one person considers "safe," another person may consider "unsafe," to point out one problem -- "safety" is subjective. Therefore, the ISSO can say the following: if you have all the required re-entry documents (listed at the top of this page) you are eligible to travel. Whether you decide to do so or not must be up to you.
Additionally, as of November 8th, all foreign nationals, including essential travelers (including all F-1s), require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the U.S. For purposes of entry into the United States, the accepted vaccines will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.Please monitor the CDC’s website for more COVID-19-specific information if you have upcoming travel plans.
- I-94 (Can be accessed here)
- I-20 or DS-2019
- EAD card if on OPT