Loyola University Chicago

International Student and Scholar Services

Travel Instructions

  • Documents Required for Re-entry to the US
  • Documents Required to Enter Other Countries
  • Travel by Dependents (F-2/J-2)
  • Travel While on OPT
  • Travel within the US
  • Useful Travel Resources

Documents Required for Re-entry to the US

Have the following documents available (not packed in checked luggage) when you arrive at the port of entry to the US:

  • A passport that is valid at least six months past return to the United States. Citizens of Canada do not need passports to enter the United States from Canada. Landed immigrants of Canada from British Commonwealth countries are required to have valid passports to enter the U.S. Passports may be renewed at your country's embassy or consulate in the United States. For information about embassies and consulates worldwide, visit: http://www.embassy.org/embassies/.
  • A valid F-1 or J-1 entry visa stamp. Canadian citizens do not need entry visas to enter the United States. Landed immigrants of Canada from British Commonwealth countries are required to have entry visas to enter the US. Your visa may not need to be valid when returning from certain countries in certain situations. See Travel and Visa Application in Canada or Mexico for more information.
  • A valid Form I-20 ID or DS-2019 with a recent signature from OIP. Please make an appointment to get your travel signature at least one week before you leave the US.
  • Any previously issued I-797 Approval Notices from USCIS. You have this document if you changed your status to F-1 or J-1 after arriving in the United States.
  • Your current EAD if you are on OPT.

Optional Documents: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) advises that you also bring the following documentation:

  • Evidence of your financial resources
  • Evidence of your student or exchange visitor status (e.g., tuition receipts, transcripts or letter of acceptance)
  • The name and contact information of your designated school official or sponsor. For a list of Loyola designated school officials, click here.

Inform the CBP Officer as soon as possible at the port of entry that you will be a returning student or exchange visitor in the United States.

Documents Required to Enter Other Countries

If you travel to a country other than your home country, you may need an entry visa for that country. Visit OIP to consult a directory of foreign embassies and consulates which grant visas.

Travel by Dependents (F-2/J-2)

Dependents will need their own passports and entry visas, their own I-20 or DS-2019 signed by the F-1 or J-1 student and by OIP. Dependents also need any previously issued I-797s for their change of status, and the original EAD card if the F-1 student is on OPT.

Travel While on OPT

If you are on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of your studies, you must carry your employment authorization document (EAD), in addition to the required documents listed above, when you travel.

OIP can provide a letter explaining to the port of entry officials that you may re-enter the US with your EAD and I-20 even though the completion date on your I-20 has passed and your EAD says "not valid for re-entry." To receive such a letter, contact OIP at least several days in advance of your departure. We also recommend obtaining a letter from your employer.

Travel within the US

You should not be asked for any official travel documentation while you travel within the U.S. However, you should carry your passport with your I-94 card stapled inside at all times. It is your proof of legal entry to the US.

Useful Travel Resources

For more information about travel outside the US, please contact us.