F-1, J-1 students, J-1 Research Scholars/Professors and all dependents that plan to travel outside of the United States and return to Kansas State University must bring their I-20 or DS-2019 to the International Student and Scholar Services office so it can be signed for re-entry into the U.S. This should be done 2 to 3 weeks prior to traveling. Note that if your DS-2019 was not issued by K-State, you will need to contact your program sponsor for this signature. If you are traveling within the U.S., you do not need to have your documents signed for travel but you are required to carry your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 with you at all times. F-1 and J-1 students must complete the Travel Signature Request Form and submit along with your original I-20/DS-2019.
It is very important that you turn in the Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) to an airline representative or Customs Border Protection (CBP) official when leaving the U.S. Returning the Form I-94 proves that you did not violate U.S. law by staying in the country too long and that you obeyed U.S. immigration laws. This is essential if you want to return to the U.S. at a future date.
To find additional information regarding traveling, please read the following document:
Traveling Tips for International Students
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Obtaining a New Visa Stamp to re-enter the U.S.
If you visit countries outside the United States other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island, you must have a valid F or J visa stamp in your passport to re-enter the United States. (Students from Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria must always have a valid visa when entering the U.S.) This is essential in addition to having a signed form I-20 or DS-2019. If your visa is no longer valid, you must take your passport and you I-20 or DS-2019 to the nearest United States Consulate or Embassy in the country you are visiting to apply for a new visa stamp. Evidence of financial support for your studies in the U.S. must also be presented. Also, be advised that you may encounter problems or delays if you attempt to get a new visa outside your home country. Before you leave for a trip outside the U.S., consult the International Student and Scholar Services to determine whether or not you need a new visa stamp.
Many scholars have experienced delays in obtaining visas. We are requesting that if you need to apply for a visa, that you complete the Visa Data form and report on your experience. In this way, we can track the consular posts where there may be a higher liklihood of delays. We will then be able to pass this information on to othere as well as report any trends to those who liaison with government officials.
Visiting Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean area--automatic revalidation information. If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands other than Cuba for less than 30 days, you may be eligible to reenter the U.S. without obtaining a visa stamp. Please see an International Student Advisor for more information on this revalidation benefit.
The State Department is now publishing on its Web site the average wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews and for the processing of nonimmigrant visa applications. The wait times are listed by post. To access the wait-time site, go to: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_wait.php .
If you have been outside the U.S. for period of five months or more, you should apply for a new visa. It may be necessary to explain your situation and reason for applying for a new visa to the consular officer. Some Ports of Entry may not allow you to enter if you do not obtain a new visa after a significant absence such as this. Please contact our office with any additional questions regarding an absence from the U.S. greater than five months.
Traveling to a country other than your country of citizenship?
If you are traveling to Mexico, Canada, or any country that is not your country of citizenship, you may need a visa to enter that country. The following contacts may be helpful to determine if you need a visa to enter another country.
For information on Canadian visas visit -
For information on Mexican visas visit –
For all other countries, go to http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/69458.htm. Search for the particular country then click on U.S. Embassy.