For international students holding an F-1 visa who are planning to travel outside the United States and then return to continue study, see information below:

Required documents for re-entry into the United States

  1. A valid passport at least 6 (six) months into the future.

  2. A valid visa (be sure you have not used up your number of entries - 1,2 or multiple). If you applied for a change of status from within the US, you will need to get a new visa in order to re-enter the US.

  3. Current SEVIS Form I-20 with recent (within the past 2 months) certification signature from a Designated School Official. (Do not wait until the day before you leave to try to get a signature – we may not be available!)

  4. All previous Forms I-20’s (to show your history).

  5. If you are on Optional Practical Training, a valid Employment Authorization Card, and a letter of employment from your employer. (See list below for suggestions.)

Suggested additional documentation that may be required

Check with your local Embassy or border location to find out what they require.

  1. Official transcript from Durham Technical Community College (showing full time student status since you've been here).

  2. Official transcripts from any previous US schools attended.

  3. If available, proof of course registration for the next upcoming semester (shows a purpose for your return to the US).

  4. Current financial support documentation (no more than 6 months old).

  5. If you are on OPT, a letter from your employer stating that you have the job, the job description and the dates of employment (which will need to match your EAD). If you are near the end of your OPT, it is not likely that you will be allowed to re-enter the US for this purpose. Please think twice about traveling.

  6. Be prepared to talk about your educational goals here in the US, your intent to return to your home country and your plans once you do return home.

Please be aware that this list of required and suggested documentation is not a guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Upon your return: If you receive any new immigration documents, please bring a copy to the Center for the Global Learner.