Skip to Content

Weather update: The Columbia campus will have a delayed opening until 10 am tomorrow, Jan. 18. This applies to all offices. Classes scheduled to begin before 10 am are canceled. Classes scheduled to begin at or after 10 am will take place as scheduled. See for updates See for updates.

International Student Services

Travel Documents

 If you plan to travel outside of the United States and reenter, you need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. Your I-20 or DS-2019 should have a signature within 6 months of the date you plan to reenter.


You can stop by the ISS Office during our office hours to get your I-20 or DS-2019 signed. You do not need an appointment. If you are on OPT and no longer live in Columbia, mail your I-20 to ISS using the mailing address, which is listed on the right-hand side of this page.

In order to reenter the U.S., the following documents are required:

  • Passport, valid at least 6 months after your date of entry into the U.S.
  • Valid visa (some exceptions exist for travel to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands. See  information about Automatic Visa Revalidation and speak to an ISS advisor for more details.)
  • I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel in the past 6 months
  • If you are currently on OPT, your EAD card
  • If you are currently on OPT, proof of employment is required if you are able to provide it (this can be a letter from your employer stating that you are currently employed, an offer letter if you have not yet started the employment, and/or pay stubs)

Do not pack the above documents in your luggage. Carry them with you at all times.

The following documents are also helpful in verifying your activities as an F-1/J-1 entering the U.S. if an immigration official questions your student visa status, and therefore are also recommended for travel:

  • Transcript of coursework (See your Self Service Carolina account to print an unofficial transcript)
  • Financial certification (bank statement, assistantship letter ,etc.)
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
  • Printout of current and future enrollment (your class schedule)
  • If you are on OPT or CPT, a letter from an employer acknowledging the travel and your salary amount.