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International Student and Scholar Support

Travel While on OPT

International travel while on OPT is similar to travel while you are an F-1 student. While on OPT, you are still in F-1 student status. However, there are some important differences and additional document requirements.

Take These Documents With You When Planning to Reenter the U.S. from an International Location While on OPT:

Before Completing Academic Program & Before OPT Approval
After Completing Academic Program & Before OPT or STEM OPT Approval
After Completing Program & After OPT or STEM OPT Approval
  Carry these documents: Carry these documents: Carry these documents:
Valid passport  Yes Yes Yes
Valid F-1 visa Yes Yes Yes
OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed within 6 months by an ISS Advisor  Yes Yes Yes
Evidence of continued enrollment (e.g. Enrollment Verification from Registrar’s office)  Yes    
I-797 Notice of Action  No Yes  
Job offer letter from employer OR current employment verification letter  No strongly recommended Yes
EAD (Employment Authorization Document)  No STEM OPT students whose original 12-Month EAD has expired should check with ISS about travel. Yes

For more information on international travel as an F-1 student, see the Travel section of our website.

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