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University of Central Oklahoma international students can travel inside or outside of the U.S. before degree completion or while they are on Post-OPT; however, they need to ensure that they follow certain regulations to travel safely and plan ahead to avoid any delays.

Travel within the U.S.

When traveling within the U.S. to any of the 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) or to the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa), be prepared to take the following documents : 

  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019;
  • Valid electronic I-94 record;
  • Passport, valid six months into the future; and, 
  • Enrollment verification letter/class schedule.

Leaving the U.S. for Short Travel

F-1 students, J-1 students, J-1 scholars and dependents are required to have valid travel signatures on their I-20 or DS-2019 form when returning to the U.S. to continue their study or employment. The travel signature can be requested no earlier than 30 days before the end of each semester.

To request a travel signature:

  1. Fill out the travel report online.
  2. Visit with DSO officer at the UCO Office of Global Affairs.

Returning to the U.S.

As you prepare to arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry, be prepared to answer the following questions and present the following documents to the Port of Entry officer.

Required documents:
  • Passport (valid six months into the future);
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa;
  • Current I-20 or DS-2019 with a DSO travel signature; and, 
  • Have copies of your transcript and enrollment verification letter for the applicable semester.

Returning to the U.S. While on Post-OPT or STEM-OPT

When planning to travel outside of the U.S., on Post-OPT or STEM-OPT, be prepared to take the following documents with you:

  • Passport, valid six months into the future;
  • Valid F-1 visa - more about visa renewal process;
  • OPT authorized I-20 with a valid travel signature endorsed within the last six months;
  • Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card); and, 
  • Employment letter or job offer letter.

Travel to Canada, Mexico and/or Adjacent Islands

Automatic revalidation allows F-1 and J-1 students to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa stamp in their valid passport after visiting Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for less than 30 days. Under this provision, the expired nonimmigrant visa is considered to be automatically extended to the date of readmission. This rule does not apply to students from all countries. For the most up-to-date information, visit the website of the Department of State or the Department of Homeland SecurityCustoms and Border Protection.

To be eligible for automatic revalidation, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Legal entry to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island is required;
  • Visit outside of U.S. is not more than 30 days and the purpose is pleasure or vacation only;
  • Have maintained full-time F or J status at all times;
  • Have an enrollment verification letter;
  • Have an unexpired passport and last I-94 indicates a status of “Duration of Stay;”
  • Have an I-20/DS-2019 with a valid travel signature;
  • Have not applied for a visa during the travel; and, 
  • Are not from countries that are identified as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the Department of State.