Traveling as an International Student
If you plan to travel during academic breaks, be sure to check that your documents are in order.
Travel Outside of the U.S.
If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S. during academic breaks, please come into the IPO before you depart. We will check your documents and possibly produce a new I-20 prior to your departing the U.S. Carry your valid passport, all I-20s and your Oxy ID when traveling outside the US. A signature of a Designated School Official is required on your I-20 every six months. Check that the F1 visa stamp in your passport is still valid. If not, you will need to apply for a new one before returning to the U.S.
Travel Within the U.S.
For travel in the U.S, we recommend that you carry your immigration documents (I-20, passport, I-94 information), or minimally, copies of these documents.
Frequently Asked Travel Questions
What do I need to do when I leave the US? For weekends? For breaks?
You need to carry your valid passport with a valid US visa stamp and valid I-20 signed by a D.S.O. within six months. You should also carry your Oxy student ID as proof of your active student status. As for entering any country other than your home country and other than the US, including Canada or Mexico, each country has its own rules about who needs a visa to enter and who doesn't. The best way to find out is to call the consulate or embassy of the country you will visit and ask. Be sure you let them know of which country you are a citizen. Most consulates are over on the West side down in the Wilshire area.
Do I need a DSO’s signature every time I leave the country?
No. Have your I-20 signed once every six months.
What should I do if my passport expires?
BEFORE your passport expires, call or visit your consulate or embassy. They will help with the paperwork. Be sure to start the process WELL in advance of any expected travel or the expiration date.
When does my I-20 expire?
Your I-20 expires on the date listed on line #5. If you will not graduate by that date, it is important to come into IPO well in advance of the expiration date so that we can start an extension process. If you will graduate early, contact IPO. ALSO, the I-20 is only valid if you are actually doing what your I-20 says: attending Occidental College full time. If you anticipate any breaks in your academic progress (semester off, transfer, illness, etc.), please contact IPO immediately for advice.
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