Travel and Re-entry Documents

Travel to Other Countries

Other countries may require a visa and/or immunizations to enter their country. Before your departure, contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country(ies) you plan to visit for updated information.

Travel Inside the U.S.

We strongly recommend that you carry a valid passport, paper I-94 card or passport admission stamp, your I-20 or DS-2019 and proof of current registration or program. Non-registered students or visitors should obtain verification of their current good standing with their department.

Required Documents

Passport

Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon initial entry or re-entry to the U.S.  If yours will expire soon, contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. 

U.S. Entry Visa

The visa stamp in your passport should be valid on the date of your return to the U.S. (It does not, however, need to remain valid during your stay in the U.S.) If you have an old, expired passport with a valid U.S. entry visa, you do not need to get a new visa stamp in your new passport as long as you carry both passports when you enter the U.S. Canadian citizens do not need a U.S. visa. Canadian landed immigrants, however, are required to obtain U.S. entry visas. See also Understanding Your Visa.

A J-1 Exchange Visitor should only enter the U.S. with a visa showing the school's (or program) name noted on it, even if the visa has not yet expired. If you change schools, obtain a visa with the new name noted on it before entering or re-entering the U.S.

Evidence of Financial Support

It is strongly recommended that F/J non-immigrants carry proof of the financial support and resources reflected on the Form I-20 or DS-2019.

F-1/F-2, J-1/J-2 documents:

Make sure your form I-20 or DS-2019 has been PROPERLY ENDORSED (signed within one year of your intended re-entry date) by the school official or agency that issued the document. Berkeley International Office generally recommends that the signature be current within 10 months of your re-entry date. (Those on F-1 OPT must have the endorsement within past 6 months). If UC Berkeley issued your I-20 or DS-2019, bring it to Berkeley International Office for endorsing. Those with an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by another program sponsor will need to contact that sponsor at least two or three weeks before departure to obtain the necessary travel signature.   It is also recommended that students travel with proof of the current semester's registration (e.g., a TeleBears printout of full-time class enrollment).

OPT students

Carry the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and proof of current employment or an employment offer.  See  Traveling on OPT for more detailed instructions.

Returning to the U.S. using "Automatic Revalidation"

"Automatic Revalidation" allows F, J, H, or O status holders under certain circumstances to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa stamp in their valid passport after visiting Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands for less than 30 days. Please speak with an Advisor at Berkeley International Office and review our information regarding Automatic Visa Revalidation before making your travel plans.

Individuals with UC Berkeley-Sponsored H-1B, TN, or O-1

In order to receive the appropriate travel documents and instructions, contact Berkeley International Office by email at H1B@berkeley.edu at least five working days before you travel.

Special Concerns

In the following cases, consult with a Berkeley International Office advisor at least two weeks before departure:

  • You will be out of the U.S. for more than five months.
  • You are considering traveling to Mexico or Canada to renew or change the U.S. entry visa.
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 has expired or will expire within 30 days of your expected return to the U.S.
  • You are currently applying or have applied in the past for U.S. legal permanent resident status (green card).