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Traveling and the I-20

You should have a valid photo I.D. with you at all times. When traveling, you must carry government issued I.D. 

Keep your passport and immigration documents in a safe place. When traveling by airplane within the United States you must bring your immigration documents. Your documents are proof of valid immigration status in the United States.

If you are traveling outside the U.S. to re-enter you must have:

  • I-20
  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Visa, if applicable

Traveling with documents such as school I.D., class registration, etc. are suggested, but not required.

Make sure you have your I-20 signed every six months if traveling outside the United States. More information is available at Travel.State.Gov.

Is your I-20 expiring?

Please look at your I-20 to make sure that it is not going to expire soon.

If you think your I-20 is expiring and you are not going to graduate, meet with the International Student Advisor as soon as possible.

I-94 Card Changes

As of April 30th 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer issue paper I-94 cards at air or sea ports of entry. Paper I-94 cards continue to be issued at land border crossings, however. After entering by air (flying into the U.S.) or sea, travelers will be able to print out their electronic I-94 in paper format by visiting It is recommended that you print out your I-94 to ensure that the Customs and Border Protection officer entered your biographical and immigration information correctly. If you have any questions, or cannot locate your electronic I-94 card after entering the U.S., please meet with an International Student Advisor. For more information issued by the USCIS about this issue, click here. Important points:

  • The Customs and Border Protection officer will stamp your passport with an admission stamp when you go through Customs. They will write your immigration status and date you must depart the U.S. on the stamp. International students generally will be assigned F-1 or J-1 status and be given the notation "D/S" as the date they must depart. "D/S" means that a student in F-1 or J-1 status may remain in the United States until his or her I-20 or DS-2019 expires plus any applicable grace period as long as they maintain lawful status.
  • Once you arrive at your final destination in the U.S. (home, residence hall, apartment) you will need to print out your I-94 from
  • If you arrived in the U.S. before the implementation of the electronic I-94 (before April 30th 2013) or you arrived by land and have a paper I-94, nothing has changed for you. You must give the card to your airline or a CBP officer the next time you leave the United States.
  • For students with electronic I-94s (entered the U.S. after April 30th 2013 by air or sea), when you leave the U.S. you will not need to give the I-94 printout to your airline or CBP. Instead, CBP will register your departure by using the manifest information obtained from your airline or commercial sea transportation company.