Traveling Outside the U.S.
I-20 with Travel Signature
- Make sure your I-20 has been signed on the last page by the International Student Advisor or a Designated School Official, and is authorized for travel past the date that you will return to the U.S. Fill out the Request for I-20 Travel Signature and bring it to the International Student Advisor.
- Make sure your passport has not expired AND that it will still be valid at least six months after the date you plan to re-enter the U.S. If you need to renew your passport, contact the consulate or embassy representing your home country in the U.S., or the appropriate authorities in your home country.
- Make sure the visa in your passport will still be valid on the date you plan to re-enter the U.S., and check that it still has entries remaining (either “M” for multiple entries or at least “1” entry left). You cannot renew your visa while in the U.S. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement webpage for more information.
Visas for Other Countries
- You may need a visa if you plan to visit countries other than your own. You should check with the consulate of the country you wish to visit before you make travel plans to see if you need a visa to enter that country.
- Canadian Visitor Visa
I-94 (small white card in your passport)
- Bringing your most recent I-94, Departure Card, will facilitate your re-entry if re-entering through a land Port Of Entry.
- If you are flying, the airline will collect your I-94 prior to departure and you will complete a new one upon reentry. Note: If you travel to Canada for less than 30 days you should not surrender your I-94 entering Canada (especially if your visa is expired!!).
Evidence of Financial Support
- Upon re-entering the U.S. you may be asked to show proof of your financial support, such as a recent bank statement from your sponsor. This is especially important when crossing the border from Mexico or Canada.
Receipt of SEVIS fee
- When you paid your $200 SEVIS fee you should have received a receipt. Make a copy of this and keep it separate from the original. The original should be kept with you and the copy should be kept in a safe place.
- GCC Student ID Card.
- Transcript and/or Certification of Enrollment. You can print an unofficial transcript on myGCC or obtain a Certification of Enrollment from the Records Office.
Are you planning to travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean (“Adjacent Islands”) for less than 30 days? Some people in F and J status can re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands with an expired visa if they meet all of the following circumstances:
- They are returning from a visit of less than 30 days
- They did not apply for a new visa while outside the U.S.
- They have with them all of the following: a valid passport, an unexpired I-94 (white card in passport marked as “D/S”), appropriate financial documentation, and a valid I-20 signed for re-entry on the last page.
NOTE: This option is NOT available to:
- Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
- Canadian “landed immigrants” who have never had an F Visa.
Accepted Students Checklist
Congratulations on your acceptance to GCC! Review the international students checklist here.
Explore on campus and off campus employment opportunities provided for international students.
Maintain F-1 Status
F-1 Students are responsible to follow all immigration regulations. Learn how to maintain your F-1 status in order to study at GCC.
Learn how to complete all the requirements not only for GCC graduation, but also the requirements for immigration.