U.S. Departure and Re-entry

Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record

The Form I-94 is proof of your legal admission to the U.S. Please print your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record and carry this at all times. You will be issued a new I-94 every time you enter the U.S.  

Current students will need the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:

  • Valid and unexpired visa (except for Canadian Citizens). See webpage about renewing your visa.
  • Valid and unexpired passport. Your passport should always be valid for at least 6 months into the future. Depending on your country, you might be able to extend your passport here in the U.S. or might have to go home to do it. For information from the U.S. Department of State, visit their website
  • Valid and unexpired I-20 or DS-2019 form.
  • I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel by an IPS advisor within 6 months of your return date.
  • Dependent I-20’s or DS-2019’s and passports (if applicable).
  • If you are on Post-Completion OPT or OPT Extension will also need to carry your EAD card and job offer letter.

If you need to renew your visa, complete and submit the Travel Support Letter Request Form or complete, print and return Travel Support Letter Request Form to IPS and you will be notified when your letter is ready. Normal processing time is at least 2 days.

Important Reminders To Know:

  • If you have graduated and are in your grace period, and depart the U.S for any reason, such as a cruise, the grace period automatically ends. You cannot re-enter the U.S.
  • 5 Month Rule: If you will be outside the U.S. more than 5 months, your I-20 will automatically expire, regardless of the date of the travel signature. You will need to pay a new SEVIS fee and receive a new I-20.

Forgot your I-20 or DS-2019 Form:

IPS can mail your I-20/DS-2019 before you enter the U.S. Contact IPS at ips@mtu.edu or 906-487-2160. You will be required to pay the mailing fee if your I-20/DS-2019 needs to be express mailed to you.

If you do not have the I-20/DS-2019 upon entering the U.S., the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue a Form I-515A. When CBP issues the Form I-515A, you will also receives a Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record," giving you 30 days from the date of entry to provide SEVP the necessary documentation to prove lawful entry. Contact IPS immediately for assistance.

Travel to/ from Canada or Mexico and Automatic Revalidation

Every country has its own entry requirements, which can vary greatly. Be sure to complete any requirements in a timely manner. Review information about traveling to/from Canada or Mexico. Most F-1 and J-1 students can travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Adjacent Caribbean Islands and re-enter the United States on an expired visa, but only if their stay is less than 30 days. This brief travel makes you eligible for automatic revalidation when you re-enter the U.S.: CPB Automatic Visa Revalidation Information. Students/scholars who are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean by cruise ship must contact the cruise line before purchasing the cruise package to confirm they will recognize automatic revalidation and allow them to return to the US without a valid F-1/ J-1 visa.

Travel Tips

  • Online flight check-in is the fastest and easiest way to check in for your flights. You can check in from your home and print your own boarding pass. You can also choose to have a link to your boarding pass emailed to your mobile device when departing from certain cities. Just display your boarding pass barcode on the screen of your device at the security checkpoint and when boarding your flight. Check-in is available starting 24 hours before your scheduled departure. You will be notified and reaccommodated if your flight changes or is cancelled.

  • Flying form the Houghton County Memorial Airport? Install the United app on your mobile device to book and check your flight/departure gates, weather conditions, etc.

  • Join Stuck Huskies on Facebook and Barkboard (barkboard.mtu.edu) to post if you need a ride or have space available in your vehicle.

  • We encourage travelers to make a copy of their passport biographic page, U.S. visa and admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

  • If your passport is lost or stolen, you must contact your embassy or consular section for the country of your citizenship for information about the procedure to replace it.

  • Contact Public Safety or go to your local police station and report your document(s) lost or stolen.

  • Dependent Travel

    Note: F-2 or J-2 spouses and minor children who are not accompanied by the F-1 or J-1 student and must have:

    • Valid and unexpired passport
    • Valid and unexpired U.S. visa stamp (except for Canadian Citizens)
    • Valid separate Form I-20 or DS-2019
    • Evidence of financial support for dependent(s)