Travel Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to take with me while traveling nationally?

Driver’s license if you have one, and passport, I-20, and I-94. While immigration documents are not required, it is a good idea to have them in case of emergencies.

Do I need a travel signature for national travel?

No, a travel signature is not required for travel within the U.S.

Can I fly nationally with just a driver’s license? Or do I need my passport?

It is possible to travel with just a driver’s license, but it is recommended to carry your passport, too, in case of emergencies.

I want to travel back home for the Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer break. What do I need to do/ bring with me?

Students traveling outside of the U.S. should have their I-20 with a travel signature that is less than 6 months old at the time of re-entry, a current valid passport, a current valid visa and their I-94. If students are on OPT, they will also need their EAD card and proof of employment.

Do I need a travel signature to visit Canada or Mexico?

Yes, a travel signature is required to return from any country outside of the U.S.

How long is my travel signature good for?

While I-20’s say that a travel signature is good for one year, it is recommended to get one after 6 months that way your signature doesn't have a chance of expiring during your travels.

Do I need a travel signature to return to my home country after my program ends?

No, travel signatures are used to re-enter the U.S.; not to leave it. Once your program ends, you are free to leave the U.S. without a travel signature.

Do I need a travel signature to travel in the US after my program ends?

A travel signature is never required for travel within the U.S.; however, you must ensure to leave the U.S. before your grace period ends.

I have to leave due to a family/medical emergency. What do I have to report to GEO?

Be sure to get a travel signature that is less than 6 months old. Also, it depends on how long you will be outside of the U.S. It is best to speak to a GEO advisor in this situation.

My visa has expired; Can I still stay in the U.S.?

Yes, visas allow students to enter the U.S., but students may lawfully remain in the U.S. on an expired visa if they are meeting all the requirements to maintain their F-1 or J-1 status. (However, a current valid visa is required in order to get or renew a driver’s license.)

I need to renew my passport. What will happen to my visa that is residing inside my passport?

Nothing happens to the visa — your old passport and visa will be returned to you. You will simply have to carry the old passport with the visa as well as the new passport. It is not unusual for them to be separate; just make sure you have both passports, the one with your visa and the current one.