Traveling

FI or J1 Visa Holders Wishing to Travel

You will need to have the following documents in order to travel home or abroad:

  • Valid passport (at least six months left)
  • Valid visa stamp
  • Original I-20 or DS-2019 with an authorized travel signature
    • Travel signature must be less than 6 months old by the time of re-entry

What if I forget my I-20 or DS-2019?

If you forget your original I-20 or fail to get a travel signature before you leave the country, you can mail us your original I-20. We will authorize the travel signature, if you are eligible to receive one, and we will return it to you by airmail or you can sign up and pay for the documents to be sent via UPS or FedEx.

If you cannot mail us your original I-20, you will most likely receive an I-515 form, which grants temporary 30-day admission to the U.S. in F-1 status. If you are granted an I-515, you must come to International Student and Scholar Services immediately upon your arrival to campus.

Automatic Revalidation for Re-entry from Canada or Mexico

If you have an expired visa stamp but you have a valid I-94, your visa will be considered valid when you re-enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico as long as ALL of the requirements below are met:

  • You will only be in Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days
  • You have your current I-94
  • You have an expired non-immigrant visa
  • You do not apply for a U.S. visa while in Canada or Mexico
  • You are not from one of the countries currently considered by the U.S. Federal government to be state sponsors of terrorism (as of July 2015, this includes Iran, Syria and Sudan)

Automatic Revalidation for Adjacent Islands

This also applies if you travel to any of the countries listed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for less than 30 days and have an expired visa.

Contact Us

International Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
Williston Hall

Phone: 815-753-1346
Fax: 815-753-1488
Email: isfo@niu.edu

Hours: 8 a.m.-noon (pick up and drop off only)
All advising and other questions are by appointment only.

Request An Appointment