Travel Information for International Students

Please review this information if you will be traveling.

Required Documents for Re-entry in the United States:

  • A passport valid through your return date.
  • A valid F-1 Visa (be sure to check to be sure you have entries remaining)
  • Current Immigration Form (I-20 or DS-2019) with re-entry signature from ISS in the past 6 months.
  • All previous Forms I-20s or DS-2019 (to show your history)
  • If you are on OPT, a valid Employment Authorization Card (EAD) and verification of employment

Bring your passport with visa, I-20, to ISS at least one week prior to expected travel. Be sure to read Important information for students on OPT. Be sure to read the FAQ for F Non-immigrants: Entry and Exit on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website before you travel.

For Special Registrants: If citizens of your country are subject to Special Registration, you must also comply with additional DHS requirements.

Suggested Additional Documentation: 

  • Transcript from Drury University (showing full time student status since you've been here). Request the transcript from the Registrar's Office, Bay Hall. If you have attended another school in the U.S., attach transcripts from the school attended to the appropriate Form I-20.
  • Proof of course registration for the following semester (shows a purpose for your return to the US). Available at the Registrar's Office.
  • Current financial support documents.
  • Request a letter of good standing from ISS at least 2 weeks prior to your expected travel.
  • If you are on OPT, a letter from your employer stating that you are employed there, the job description and the dates of employment (which will need to match your EAD!). If you are near the end of your OPT, it is not likely that you will be allowed to re-enter the US for that purpose. Please think twice about traveling. If you are on OPT and your visa has expired, you may be unable to get a new visa.

Please Note: Be aware that this list of required and suggested documentation is no guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter the US. You may encounter difficulties at the Consulate or Port-of-Entry. If you choose to travel outside the US, make sure you stay up to date on the news and events happening around the world - and be aware of the potential difficulties with travel as well as with re-entry into the US. Expect longer than normal lines at Ports of Entry, more extensive questioning about your travel, increased security checks at airports within the US and possibly abroad, increased security checks by the airlines at boarding, and increased restrictions on your carry on luggage (all carry on items may be inspected, therefore if you are carrying gifts, etc. do not wrap them in such a way that you cannot open them).

When packing, be smart. If you plan to take items from the US, home to family or friends be sure you are able to open and inspect all items carefully. If you cannot do so, do not take them with you. Select carefully items you will be put in your bag. Items such as wrapped gifts for family and friends at home and electronic equipment may cause further inspection of your luggage and longer delays for you. Please remember the reasoning behind all of this and have patience. These precautions are for everyone's safety.

Upon Your Return: Once you have reentered the US please you bring your I-94, I-20 and passport to the ISS so we can update our files. Also, we would like to hear about your experience so we can better inform future travelers.

If you need to apply for a new visa to re-enter the US: You will need to request a new immigration form (I-20 or DS-2019). Please contact the ISS at least a month before you plan to travel.

Travel Within the United States:
All non-immigrants traveling in the US are advised to carry with them all their original identification documents: Valid passport (if your visa is in an older passport carry the old passport in addition to the new one, the visa need not be valid as long as it was valid when you entered the US and all your other documents remain current/valid), I-94 card, I-20 or DS-2019, and if applicable a copy of any other documents such as EAD card (associated with OPT, economic hardship, etc.)

We also urge all who have declared immigrant intent or who have been granted permanent residency, as well as those on work visas (H1B, TN or other), to make sure you have all your documents when traveling as well.

The ISS Office has received information regarding reports of non-immigrants boarding domestic flights within the US being questioned and asked for documentation. In several incidents, the DHS officer doing the questioning told the individual that he is required to carry his passport, I-94 and/or I-797, DS-2019, or I-20 with him at all times. Non-immigrants not carrying their documents may be held until sufficient documentation is provided to the officers/agents.

Legal Note: Section 264(e) of the US Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) does require individuals over the age of 18 to carry their "registration" documentation with them at all times. Section 264.1 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) delineates what constitutes a registration document for different classes of individuals, including non-immigrant.

Based upon this information, the ISS advises all internationals at Drury University of the possibility of such incidents at airports even if the flight does not leave the US. Please contact the ISS prior to any travel, even if you will travel only within the US. The ISS will review your documents and ensure that they are valid and up-to-date, and that they accurately reflect your current status in the US

Please keep our contact information with you in case you should you need assistance while traveling.

Contact Information:

Dr. Thomas Russo, Associate Dean for International Programs, DSO/ARO 

Drury University Campus Security: (417) 873-7400;
24-hour Emergency Number: (417) 873-7911

Safe and happy travels!