If you travel outside the United States for longer than 5 months, immigration officials will regard you as beginning a new F-1 or J-1 program of study when you return.
At that time, you will need to get a new “initial attendance” I-20 or DS-2019.
If you were issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 to begin a new program of study, and if you need a visa to enter the United States, you will likely need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
Off-campus Employment Eligibility
For travel outside the United States lasting 5 months or less, you will need to have the following documents.
Valid I-20 or DS-2019 with Travel Endorsement
To request an endorsement, complete the travel endorsement request form, print the email sent by email@example.com detailing your request, and your current, original I-20 or DS-2019 to International Student and Scholar Services. Allow 1 week for processing.
If you are an F-1 student who is out of status, you will need a new initial attendance I-20.
J-1 students not sponsored by WSU should contact their program sponsor for their endorsement.
While a travel signature is valid for 1 year from the date of issuance, you should get a new endorsement if your previous one is over 6 months old.
Valid Passport with Current F-1 or J-1 Visa Stamp
A passport is required to re-enter the United States from outside of North America (passports not required for a short trip to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands).
You should already have a passport from your initial entry to the United States. If you need to obtain or renew your passport and U.S. visa, you will need to contact a U.S. Embassy/Consulate, preferably in your home country.
Please note that you do not need a valid visa in your passport to remain in the United States. If your visa expires, please plan for your next out-of-country travel to be to your home country where you can renew your visa.
Evidence of Adequate Financial Support
In certain circumstances, the University may need to verify your estimated expenses and availability of funding. If your funding changes, you must notify International Student and Scholar Services.
Documents Needed to Verify Funding
You may need 1 or more of the following:
- Current list of estimated expenses
- Bank statement or statement of approved loan in your name
- Bank statement in your sponsor’s name
- Letter of support from your sponsor
- It must be from the same sponsor named on the bank statement
- The letter must indicate your sponsor’s relationship to you (parent, family member, friend, etc.)
- Your letter must reflect your current funding situation and must be signed within the past 6 months
- Letter from your academic department if you are a teaching assistant or research assistant
- Letters from government/organizations
- Financial Affidavit of Support (I-134) if your sponsor resides in the United States; a bank statement must be attached
Employment income may be considered if you are authorized to work in the United States.
Requirements for Financial Documents
- Must be dated and less than 6 months old
- Written in English or accompanied by an English translation
- Copies are acceptable, including faxes and scanned documents