International Student Services


Required Documents for Re-entry

In order to re-enter the U.S. after a temporary absence (not exceeding 5 months) you must carry the following documents:

  • Valid Passport.
  • Valid F-1/J-1 Visa stamp (except for a short trip to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands).
  • Valid I-20/DS-2019 with travel endorsement from CSI or J-program sponsor. An F-1 student who is out of status must have a new “initial attendance” I-20.
  • Evidence of adequate finances.
  • Copy of CSI transcript and your current course schedule (optional).

Travel Endorsements

To travel outside of the country and re-enter the U.S. as an F-1/J-1 student, you must have a valid I-20/DS-2019 which has been endorsed by an International Student Advisor (F-1) or Program Sponsor (J-1). F-1 students may need a new I-20 if they have failed to maintain status.

Trips to Mexico, Canada & Adjacent Islands

To facilitate entry into Canada or Mexico as a visitor, you must carry all the documents listed above except for a valid F-1/J-1 Visa stamps for some students. In addition, a visitor's Visa may be required depending on your country of citizenship

Visitor's Visa to Canada and Mexico

F-1/J-1 students or their dependents that are planning a trip to Canada or Mexico should contact the respective consulate offices to determine whether a visitor's Visa to the country is needed prior to your trip.
Mexican Consulate
Canadian Consulate

Re-entering the U.S. from Canada on an Expired F-1/J-1 Visa

Most students may travel to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands and re-enter the U.S. on an expired F-1/J-1 Visa if the trip does not exceed 30 days (this is referred to as Automatic Visa Revalidation). Please note, however, that Automatic Revalidation, or entry on an expired visa, does not apply when a student applies for a new F-1/J-1 Visa and is denied in Canada or Mexico.

Retaining Your Original I-94 Card for Re-entry

It is vitally important for students to retain the original copy of their I-94 card when traveling to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands, if they plan to re-enter with an expired Visa under the Automatic Visa Re-Validation law. They will need this document as a substitute for a valid Visa when re-entering the US. Subsequently, when departing the US, students should not relinquish this card to the airlines or an immigration officer.

  • Citizens of Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for this benefit and must be in possession of a valid F-1/J-1Visa to enter or re-enter the U.S. at all times.

Special Registration (NSEERS)

Under Special Registration (NSEERS: National Security Entry-Exit Registration System), non-immigrant’s from certain countries are required to:

  1. Register with immigration authorities at a Port of Entry.
  2. Report to DHS for additional in-person interviews if instructed by the Port of Entry official.
  3. Notify immigration authorities of changes of residential address by updating address in WSU METRO
  4. Use specially designated ports when leaving the U.S. and report in person to an immigration officer at the port on their departure date.

Male citizens or nationals of the following countries are required to comply with the Special Registration (as of December, 2003).

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen