Travel and Re-Entry

IMPORTANT: Winter Travel Advisory

If you are traveling over the winter break, please review the information below to ensure that you have all of the necessary documents for your trip.

Please note that the International Center will be closed Monday, December 24 2018 - Tuesday January 1, 2019. If you are traveling and forgot to obtain an updated travel signature, please review our I-515A Guidance.

Immigration Documents


Must be valid at least 6 months into the future. If you have dual citizenship be sure to always enter the U.S. with the passport that is associated with your I-20.


At the time of orientation our office endorses travel signature to all students, it is your responsibility to obtain an updated travel signature once per year. Do not wait until the last minute to get a travel signature! If your I-20 needs to be updated, please request a new one through iTorero.


If your F-1 visa expires you can stay/travel in the U.S. just as long as you maintain your student status. For renewal inquires, please visit our office.

I-94 Admission Number:

An electronic admission number is given to you every time you enter the U.S. it is important to print off your most recent I-94 admission number. Obtain your most recent I-94 here!

Additional Reminders

Travel Outside of San Diego: With San Diego being near the Mexican International Border we ask that students carry their immigration documents when leaving central San Diego. You always want to be prepared in the case you get stopped by a border portal officer.

I-515A Issuance Guidance: If you are arriving at a U.S. point of entry and do not have your proper immigration documents and are issued Form I-515A, please visit Study in States. It is critical you visit our office immediately as you have 14 days to adjust your status.

Applying for a new F-1 Visa

Before applying for an F-1 visa please be sure you have received your I-20 from USD. For detailed information on the visa process please visit Study in the States.

Renewing your F-1 Visa in Tijuana

If you are interested in renewing your F-1 visa in Tijuana, Mexico, visit the U.S. Embassy in Tijuana website. In addition, we ask that you make an appointment with OISS for a consultation.

Visiting a different country

Find out more information on visa requirements if you are planning on visiting a country.

Currently, traveling to Cuba from the U.S. for tourism purpose is not permitted.  For more information, please visit U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

Traveling after your program completion

During your 60-day grace period you cannot exit and re-enter the country under the F-1 status, unless you have a valid tourist visa or qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA).

Please refer to our guidance on obtaining a new I-94 here.

Traveling International

It is critical you bring all the below documents when traveling internationally:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid I-20 (Travel signature validity = 1 year)
  • I-94 Admission Number
  • I-901 SEVIS payment receipt
  • Unofficial transcript

F-1 Visa Expiration

You can stay/travel in the U. S. on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. If you are traveling to either Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands you may travel under the Automatic Visa Revalidation Program.

Lost Immigration Documents

If you have misplaced your passport we highly encourage you to file a police report and visit our office immediately. If you have misplaced your I-20 you can request a new I-20 through iTorero.

Travel to Mexico and Canada

Under the F-1 status you are not required to obtain a tourist visa to visit Mexico, however you will need to still bring ALL of your immigration documents with you. If you are traveling to Canada it is responsibility to find out if you are required to obtain a tourist visa (depending on your citizenship).

Consultation with OISS

For any travel and visa inquires, please be sure to contact our office for an initial consultation. You may either stop by our office or email to request for an appointment