Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Office of International Education
Traveling Outside the U.S.

Travel Signature

Prior to traveling outside the U.S., please check to ensure that you have a valid travel signature as you may be denied re-entry to the U.S. or only given temporary status in the U.S. requiring further action to extend your status if you do not have a current travel signature. Travel signatures are typically valid for re-entry to the U.S. for up to one year from the date that provided or until the end of your program, whichever is shorter. Exception: If you are on Optional Practical Training, a travel signature is only valid for 6 months.

If your travel signature is no longer valid please reach out to Office of International Education at

What Documents Should I Carry When:

Traveling Outside of Syracuse?

Carry original documents and make sure a friend/family member within the US has a copy of the documents, in case the originals are misplaced.

  • Passport and Visa (passport must be valid six months into the future from your date of re-entry)
  • I-20 or DS-2019 (don't forget about the travel signature!)
  • Most Recent I-94

Travelling Internationally?

Carry original documents and a set of copies in two different areas (for example: originals in pocket and copies in backpack), while also leaving a set of documents with a friend/family member in the US.

  • Passport and Visa (passport must be valid six months into the future from your date of re-entry)
  • I-20 or DS-2019 (don't forget about the travel signature!)
  • Most Recent I-94
  • Enrollment Certificate
  • Return Flight Itinerary
  • ESF ID and/or Health Insurance ID
  • If on OPT: EAD Card and Job Offer Letter

Who Should I Contact In An Emergency?

Your first instinct should always be to call 911 Emergency Services. This phone is used for in-the-moment emergencies while off-campus. While on-campus you may also call 315-470-6666 for University Police. If you are uncomfortable calling 911, contact University Police as soon as possible. If the situation is not an immediate crisis, reach out to the Office of International Education at

What Do I Do if I Lose My Documents?

At any point, if you lose any of the documents required for re-entry in to the U.S., contact the Office of International Education immediately. We will work with you to get you the essential documents you need for re-entry. If you lose your passport or I-20/DS-2019, it is advisable you reach out to local law enforcement and your country’s embassy as well in order to avoid identity fraud.

How Do I Know My Documents Are Still Valid?

You should always check with the Office of International Education prior to any travel. Some things you will want to check on with your documents include: I-20/DS-2019 Travel Signature Date (valid for only 12 months), Passport Expiration Date, Visa Expiration Date, and your I-20/DS-2019 Program End Date. In case of an emergency travel without appropriate valid documents, contact immediately.

Can I Travel to Canada?

Yes! However, before traveling, don’t forget to check in with the Office of International Education. In addition to making sure all of your documents are in order, you may also need to apply for a Canadian visa. Remember: Canada has their own immigration laws as well.

What Is Secondary Inspection and What Do I Do?

Often, international travelers may be pulled into a secondary room to be asked additional questions about their purposes of entering the U.S. Remain calm and patient during this time if this every happens to you. While it can sometimes be over in under an hour, it can also last up to a few hours. Be honest and CBP will help you through.