- Passport, valid at least 6 months after your date of entry into the U.S.
- Valid visa (some exceptions exist for Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands, see Automatic Visa Revalidation)
- I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel in the past 6 months
- EAD card, if you are currently on Optional Practical Training (It is also strongly recommended that you have a letter from your employer stating that you are fulfilling the OPT and acknowledging the period of travel.)
- Financial certification (required by law, but you may not be asked to present it)
DO NOT PACK THESE ITEMS IN YOUR LUGGAGE! CARRY THEM WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES.
The following documents are helpful in verifying your activities as an F-1/J-1 entering the U.S. if an immigration official questions your student visa status:
- Copies of all previous I-20/DS2019s issued to you
- Transcript of course work (See Office of University Registrar for details)
- Printout of current and future enrollment
- If you are on OPT or CPT, a letter from an employer acknowledging the travel and your salary amount.
- Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need to get a visa in order to enter Canada or should consult the Canadian or Mexican governmental agencies to determine if you need a visa.
- Students whose subject of study is included on the Department of State's Technology Alert List may be subject to additional security checks and delays upon re-entry and may want to consider not using automatic visa revalidation. E-mail an international student advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the Technology Alert List.