If you plan to travel during academic breaks, please read below to make sure your documents are in order.
Traveling outside the U.S
- Please visit IPO before you depart if you plan to travel abroad. We will check your documents and may need to produce a new I-20/DS-2019 prior to your leaving the country.
- Please carry your valid passport, all I-20s or DS-2019 and your Oxy ID when traveling outside the US. A signature of a DSO/RO at IPO is required on your documents every twelve months.
- Check that the F-1/J-1 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.
Traveling within the U.S
- Please carry your immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94 information), or minimally copies of these documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do I need to do when I leave the US for a long-term/short-term break?
You need to carry your valid passport with a valid US visa stamp and valid I-20 or DS-2019 signed by a DSO/RO 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.
Q. Do I need a DSO/RO’s signature every time I leave the country?
No. Have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed once every twelve months.
Q. 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.
Q. When does my I-20 or DS-2019 expire?
Your I-20 or DS-2019 expires on the date listed on your document. 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 or DS-2019 is only valid if you are actually doing what your document 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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