Student Life

Multicultural Affairs - Travel Out and Re-entry to the U.S.

During your time at Manchester, you may want to travel outside of the United States for a period of time.  In order to return, F-1 Visa holders must present specific documentation to the immigration officer at a port of entry:
  • I-20 form with P/DSO signature on page 2 within last year or within six (6) months for students on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • valid passport (valid six months into future from date of entry)
  • valid F-1 visa stamp
  • Letter in good standing from Registrar's office 

What happens at PoE (Port of Entry)?

  • An immigration officer will examine I-20 form and supplemental documentation when asked.
  • The officer may also inspect the passport and F-1 visa while also asking supplemental questions.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

  • After successful admittance into the country, the student should check to see if entry was recorded accurately in the electronic system.

Travel Signature

  • Only a designated school official can sign your I-20 form
    • Spring 2017: Tammy Barber, International Student Coordinator
    • Spring 2017: Michael Dixon, Chief Diversity Officer/Director of Intercultural Services

Valid F-1 Visa Stamp

  • If your visa has expired and you plan to travel outside the U.S., you must go to your embassy/consulate to obtain a new F-1 visa.  They may never be renewed inside the U.S. Renewing your F-1 visa while applying for OPT could be difficult and not advisable.

Difficulties entering U.S.

If during the entry process you are having difficulties with the immigration officer(s), please call Office of Multicultural Affairs at (260) 982-5423 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
University Safety at (260) 982-5999 all other times
(University Safety will get in contact with a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs)

Travel to Canada or Mexico

There is a special provision called automatic visa revalidation which allows expired F-1 visa holders to briefly visit Canada, Mexico and other neighboring islands (except Cuba) and return to the U.S. without applying for a new F-1 visa.

The following rules apply:

Time outside of the U.S. must not exceed thirty (30) days and may only be spent in Canada, Mexico (F, J, H. or O visa holders) or adjacent islands except Cuba (F and J only);

Cannot be a citizen of a country the Department of State has determined to be a sponsor of terrorism (Currently: Iran, Sudan, Syria)

You must have valid I-20 form with valid travel signature on page 2.

Must have valid passport valid for six months into the future.

Maintained status in U.S. and intend to resume status when returning to U.S.

Must present printed I-94 arrival/departure record upon re-entry into U.S.

Many will need tourist visas to enter Canada, Mexico and neighboring islands.  Students need to contact embassy of the country you intend to travel to and check visa requirements before making arrangements to travel.

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