UCI International Center

Travel Information

Section 1

Traveling Inside the U.S.

We recommend that you have your travel documents with you when you travel inside the United States. You may be asked to show your travel documents at airports, train stations and other transportation hubs. If you plan to travel south of Orange County (for example to San Diego) be prepared that when you return you may be asked for your travel documents at the Border Patrol checkpoint in San Clemente (about 25 miles south of Irvine). There are similar checkpoints in other places near the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S.-Canada border.

Traveling Outside of the U.S.

When making travel plans allow time to collect all necessary documents and make necessary arrangements for your re-entry to the United States. Below is information that will help you. For more information please refer to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

About the Travel Signature

The travel signature verifies that you are maintaining your student or scholar status at UCI. Only International Center staff members are allowed by U.S. government to provide the signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. The travel signature is given to you by an International Center advisor after you submit a completed Travel Form and your original I-20 or DS-2019. The travel signature alone does not verify your status you must have all travel documents valid for your re-entry into the United States.

Recommended Documents for Travel and Travel Signature Validity

Visa Status

Recommended Travel Documents for Re-Entry to the U.S.

Travel Signature Is Valid For:

J-1 Student

DS-2019 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Proof of Full-Time Enrollment, Proof of Financial Support, I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt

1 Year

F-1 Student

I-20 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Proof of Full-Time Enrollment, Proof of Financial Support, I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt

1 Year

F-1 OPT/OPT STEM

I-20 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Employment Verification Letter, Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt

 

For more information about specific travel situations concerning OPT, review Travel & Re-Entry While on OPT.

6 Months

J-1 Academic Training

DS-2019 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Employment Verification Letter, Proof of Financial Support, I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt

6 Months

J-1 Scholar

DS-2019 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Employment Verification Letter, Proof of Financial Support, I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt

1 Year; unless J-1 program is less than 1 year travel signature is valid for duration of J-1 program. Travel 30 days or more outside the U.S. requires special IC approval prior to departure. Please review Scholar Travel Form for details on this type of request.

UCI Sponsored H-1B, O-1, TN

International Travel Information

 

F-2/J-2 Dependents

I-20/DS-2019 Visa Document with Travel Signature, Passport, Visa, Copies of Primary F-1/J-1 Visa Document

1 Year; unless primary F-1/J-1 is participating in OPT/OPT STEM/Academic Training, then 6 months.

Returning from Your Trip

Arriving in the U.S. should be a smooth experience if you have everything ready to verify your immigration status and purpose in the U.S.

Review Your I-94

After re-entering the U.S. you should access your most recent I-94 document to make sure your re-entry was recorded with the correct visa status. You can access your latest I-94 document from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. If you find there is an error, contact the International Center for assistance if correcting.

Secondary Inspection

If the officer at the port of entry cannot verify your information, or if you do not have all of the required documentation, the officer may direct you to an interview area known as secondary inspection. During this interview you will be asked additional questions about the intention of your visit and your identity. This process takes additional time at the port of entry, and in certain circumstances you may be issued a Form I-515A "Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor," which authorizes temporary admission to the U.S. for 30 days. If you receive this notice, you must contact the International Center immediately.If you do not extend your 30-day limit, you will lose your visa status.  

Entry Requirements for Another Country (not the U.S.)

If you plan to visit another country you must contact that country's consulate for information about entry requirements for that country. Each country has specific requirements for entry that are different depending on your citizenship status and residency status. Before you make any travel plans be sure that you are informed of these requirements. A list of foreign consular offices in the United States is available from the U.S. Department of State.