Travel During 12-Month OPT

When 12-Month OPT is Pending

IPS advises against international travel while OPT is pending. If you choose to travel, please note IPS cannot help facilitate your re-entry if it is denied.

If you decide to leave and re-enter before receiving your EAD card or a job offer, please carry all the documents listed below:

  • Passport (valid for at least six months after you plan to re-enter the US)
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport (does not apply to Canadian citizens)
  • I-20 (with a travel signature no older than six months)
  • I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797)
  • If you need to apply for a new F-1 visa when your post-completion OPT application is pending, also be sure to have your I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797) in addition to the usual documents required for a visa application.

When 12-Month OPT is Approved

After OPT is approved, carry all the documents listed above including the EAD card and job offer, if any.

If you need to apply for a new F-1 visa, be sure to have your EAD card and job offer letter in the US in addition to the usual documents required for a visa application. 

For more information, see US Department of Homeland Security FAQ for Travel.

You Need to Know

Days abroad do not count toward unemployment if time is excused by your company or travel is for business.