Planning is the key. Think several weeks in advance about what you will need for your trip, so you will not be stressed out at the last minute. Processing time is up to five business days. Travel endorsements are valid for one year.
How do I receive a travel endorsement?
Fill out and submit the "Travel Request" form in iCAT and follow the instructions provided.
If you are an F-1 student and have an I-20, a digital copy of your document signed for travel will be emailed to you.
If you are a J-1 exchange visitor and have a DS-2019, you will drop your document off in the ISSS Main Office during office hours. After you have done this, an immigration specialist will review your request and you will receive an email instructing you to retrieve the signed document.
Note: If there have been any major changes in your financial support, please provide written documentation from the funding source (i.e. change from personal funds to assistantship, etc.) Your I-20 or DS-2019 will be updated to reflect the change.
Students are advised to carry these documents with them for travel purposes:
- Unofficial transcript from myUK
- Financial verification (bank statement, letter awarding assistantship, etc.)
- PASSPORT valid for a minimum of 6 months into the future on the date you return to the United States
- I-20 or DS-2019 with the endorsement signature (valid for one year during enrollment in the academic program)
Dependents in F-2/J-2 status must have their own I-20 or DS-2019 endorsed in order to re-enter the US after travel abroad.
If you are attempting to reenter the US after you’ve applied for post-completion OPT or the OPT STEM extension you are expected to have:
- I-20 signed for travel within 6 months of reentry
- Valid F-1 visa stamp
- Valid passport
- I-797 receipt notice if the OPT application is still pending
- EAD and offer of employment if the OPT application has been approved
Be sure to check if your visa is still valid.
If it will expire prior to re-entry, you will have to apply at a US Embassy or Consulate to have it renewed before returning to the United States. You should make an appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate before you leave the US. You can check the Department of State's website for the current visa wait time at the location where you plan to apply for the renewal. Due to security checks, the visa process may be delayed, so keep this in mind. Also, each Embassy and Consulate may have slightly different requirements for what additional evidence they require you to present at the time of the interview. For example, some require you to present official transcripts, but others do not. So be sure to the check the website of the Embassy or Consulate where you will be interviewing for specific requirements. Use https://www.usembassy.gov/ to find the website for your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Follow the instructions you find there to book your appointment and apply for your new visa.
Exception: Canadian citizens do not require a US visa. Also, citizens of other countries traveling to a contiguous territory, such as Canada or Mexico, for 30 days or less may not need to renew the visa before returning. See this website for more information on automatic revalidation: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/visa-expiration-date/auto-revalidate.html.
Remember that if you have changed your visa status to F-1 or J-1 in the US, you will have to apply for the appropriate visa at a US Embassy or Consulate before returning to the United States.
CANADIAN LANDED IMMIGRANTS
Permanent Resident Aliens of the Commonwealth and Ireland (Landed Immigrants) Residing in Canada seeking to enter the United States as non-immigrants must possess a valid passport and non-immigrant visa. There are some exceptions. For more information see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/citizens-of-canada-and-bermuda.html.
For more information, check out our Student Travel Frequently Asked Questions page