Travel Information and Visa Renewal

Travel Information

It is highly recommended that all international students plan well in advance when traveling out of the United States as there are a variety or rules and regulations to consider.  End of semester periods can be very busy at ISS with many travel and other types of requests.

F-1 student travel outside the United States keep the following documents in-hand:

  • Passport valid six months into the future 
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • I-20 signed for travel (I-20 must be signed within 12 months of return date)
  • Optional documents: Evidence of Financial resources, FDU transcript, ISS contact information
  • Students on OPT also need their OPT card and proof of employment such as a letter stating when employment will begin or resume. *** The travel signature for a student on OPT is valid for only SIX months.

***I-20 Travel endorsement (page 3): Valid for a one year period from the date it was signed or until the I-20 expiration date (section 5 of I-20), whichever comes first. 

Expired F-1 Visa: Visit ISS at least two weeks prior to departure date, have I-20 endorsed for travel, and request instructions to apply for a visa.  Apply for a new visa at a US Embassy. 

Travel to a Different country:  It is important that you understand the requirements needed to enter the country you are visiting.  If you are visiting another country they may require you have an entry visa.  You should contact that country’s consulate in advance to understand the rules of entry.  A list of consulates in New York City can be found on the International Student Resource Guide located on the ISS webpage http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=546

Automatic Revalidation

This process allows most students to travel:

  • For less than 30 days
  • To Adjacent Countries (i.e. Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Bahamas)
  • And reenter on an expired F-1 visa if they have proper documentation and have not applied for a new visa during the trip
  • This process revalidates the visa (making it eligible for the single trip), but does not renew it.

For detailed information about Automatic Revalidation, go to:http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1299.html


J-1 Students and Scholars

  • Passport valid six months into the future 
  • Valid J-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • DS-2019 signed for travel (I-20 must be signed within 12 months of return date)
  • Optional documents: Evidence of Financial resources, FDU transcript, ISS contact information
  • Students on Academic Training – Job offer letter
  • For Scholars – agreement or contract with FDU

 

Difficulty at the Port of Entry to the United States

Should you have an emergency situation or have issues at the port of entry to the United States when you are traveling the Port of Entry Officer may ask for contact information the FDU.  Please be sure to have the ISS office information and hours available to you.

ISS Metropolitan Campus  201 692 2743

ISS College at Florham  973 443 8672

After business hours the process would be to contact the Office of Public Safety at the Metropolitan campus at 201 692 2222.  Identify yourself as an international student, explain your situation, give your FDU ID number along with your contact information/return phone number.  If you are being held at the port of entry then give this information to the CBP officer.  The FDU Public Safety Officer will contact an advisor at ISS to respond to the situation.

Travel within the U.S.

In general, special permission is not needed to travel within the continental U.S.. However, we recommend that you carry with you your passport, I-94, and I-20 when you travel any distance from home.


Obtaining/Renewing an F-1 Visa

Many students have F-1 visas that will expire prior to the completion of their studies. Other students may have entered the country on a different visa and completed a change of status in the US.  This information is to assist F-1 students who need to obtain or renew an F-1 visa during their time at FDU.

The most important part of the F-1 visa application is the applicant’s:

1.      demonstration of ties to the home country and intent to return to the home country, such as:

  • copies of deeds to property (land, house, apartment) they own in their home country
  • bank statements of accounts they maintain at home
  • a letter from an employer stating they will return to their job after the U.S. visit
  • discussion with the officer about how the academic program will assist with employment opportunities in the home country

2.      ability to cover expenses such as:

  • personal bank statements, showing ability to pay for 1 year of tuition and expenses
  • affidavit of support and bank statement from sponsor, showing ability to pay for 1 year of tuition and expenses
  • scholarship letter (if any) provided by FDU

3.      ability to discuss the academic program and match the academic program with future goals; documents to supplement the conversation with the Consular Officer include:

4.      ability to prove English proficiency (if required on I-20)

Students will be asked to provide the following documents*:

1.      current passport
2.      most recent I-20 (with a travel signature less than 6 months old, for visa renewals only)
3.      financial documents including bank statements and affidavit of support
4.      proof of SEVIS fee payment (first time visa applicants only)
5.      passport sized photos
6.      I-160 form, proof of payment for visa and other consular forms as required
7.      previous I-20s
8.      expired F-1 visa (if any)
9.      I-797 change of status approval notice (if any)
10.  new students may be asked for TOEFL or GRE/GMAT scores or an admission letter

*This is not a comprehensive list of all documents required for the F-1 visa. Comprehensive information can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where the visa application will be made.


Additional Information about F-1 Visa Renewal

  •  F-1 students are only required to get a new visa if they leave the US on an expired F-1 visa and wish to reenter.
  • F-1 visas cannot be renewed in the US.
  • F-1 visas should be renewed in the home country whenever possible.  Students renewing a visa in a third country must ensure in advance that Consulate/Embassy will accept the application.
    Prior granting of an F-1 visa does not guarantee that a new visa/renewal will be granted.
  • Granting of an F-1 visa/renewal does not guarantee entry to the US or status within the US.
    The Office of International Student Services has limited ability to assist students whose visas are denied or delayed.  Students in that situation should, however, inform ISS.
  • Student who cannot attend a required term due to a visa delay or denial or whose visa is approved too late into the semester will have to wait until the following term. SEVIS records will be affected by this absence, so please contact ISS for instructions.

For detailed information about the F-1 nonimmigrant visa, go to:http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#12


Automatic Revalidation

This process allows most students to travel:

  • For less than 30 days
  • To Adjacent Countries (i.e. Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Bahamas)
  • And reenter on an expired F-1 visa if they have proper documentation and have not applied for a new visa during the trip
  • This process revalidates the visa (making it eligible for the single trip), but does not renew it.

Note: Automatic Revalidation is not available for students from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria

For detailed information about Automatic Revalidation, go to: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1299.html