Travel Inside the U.S

It is recommended that international students carry photocopies of their Form I-20/Form DS-2019, and the biographical page of their passport with them during their stay in the Boston area. When traveling outside of the metropolitan area of Boston, it is advisable to carry original documents, including a valid passport, and Form I-20/Form DS-2019.

Travel and Return to the U.S.

Travel outside the U.S. is recommended only if you have all documents related to your immigration status in order prior to departure. These documents include:


You must carry a passport that will be valid for re-entry to the U.S. The passport should be valid for six months beyond the date of arrival in the United States.

Valid U.S. Visa Stamp

Citizens of all countries except Canada are required to have a valid U.S. visa stamp in their passports to  reenter the U.S. You should use the appropriate visa related to your current activities.  Use of a “visitor or “tourist visa should not be used for re-entry into the U.S. during your program of study or you may jeopardize your student status. If your student visa will not be valid at the time of re-entry to the U.S., you will need to apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy for a new visa before your return.  A list of U.S. consulates abroad can be found at the following link: Please note that student visas cannot be renewed within the U.S. (see the “Renewing a Visa” section for more information). 

Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

The Form I-20/DS-2019 must be current and have a signature valid for travel and re-entry.  F-1 travel signatures are valid for one year for current students and six months for students on Optional Practical   Training (OPT).  J-1 travel signatures are valid for the entire period of stay, up to one year as indicated on the Form DS-2019.  In order to obtain a travel signature you must drop off your most recent and original Form I-20/DS-2019 and a copy of your latest entry stamp in your passport to the Slater International Center at least 24 hours in advance of the intended travel date.

Proof of Financial Support

At the port of entry, proof of financial support may be requested.  You should carry documents supporting the source and amount of financial support indicated on the Form I-20/DS-2019.