Students wishing to visit a country outside the United States other than their home country are strongly advised to consult the website of the embassy of the country in question to determine visa and other entry requirements. This should be done at least several months before the date of departure.

All students in F-1 status must obtain a signature on their I-20 form from the Center for Global Education before leaving the United States if they intend to re-enter the United States.

Remember that:

  • You should consult the embassy of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visitor visa for that country.
  • Your passport must be valid beyond the date on which you plan to re-enter the U.S.
  • If the U.S. visa is valid for only one entry, or has expired, a new visa can be obtained from the U.S. Consulate in the country you are visiting by presenting evidence of financial support and either your current I-20 ID or a new one as appropriate. There is no guarantee of obtaining the visa in such situations, however.
  • Students may not need a valid US visa to re-enter the United States if they visit countries in contiguous territories (Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands (except Cuba) for less than 30 days, however there are exceptions to this rule.
  • For those to whom the automatic revalidation rule applies, you will need only a passport, your endorsed I-20, and a current Form I-94. However, if you apply for a visa in Canada, Mexico, etc.. students must wait until the visa is granted before re-entering the United States. If the visa application is denied, you may not re-enter the United States on an expired visa.

If you need any one of the following, you will not be able to automatically revalidate your visa.

  • You applied for a new visa and it has not been issued.
  • You applied for a new visa and were denied
  • You have a terminated SEVIS record indicating you are out of status
  • You have been out of the US for more than 30 days
  • You are a citizen of one of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria

You can reach all embassies at: U.S. Department of State website.