The ISSC wishes to provide support during this uncertain time, and answer questions related to traveling as ASU responds to COVID-19. We understand the uncertainty of the situation and respect the unease it may cause, and we aim to give as much advice as we can based on the available information. Due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation, please continue to:
You can travel inside or outside of the U.S. while you are studying or working. However, you need to ensure that you follow certain regulations to travel safely, and plan ahead to avoid any delays.
Travel within the U.S.
When you travel within the U.S. to any of the 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) or to the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa), be prepared to take the following documents with you:
- Valid I-20 or DS-2019
- Valid electronic I-94 record
- Passport, valid six months into the future
Travel outside the U.S.
As you prepare to arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry, please be prepared to answer the following questions and present the following documents to the Port of Entry Officer.
- Required documents:
- Passport (valid six months into the future).
- Valid F-1 or J-1 visa.
- Current I-20 with valid travel signature.
- Have copies of your unofficial transcripts and enrollment verification forms from ASU.
- Negative COVID test results.
- Airport recommendations
- Letter from ASU (please email us if you have not received this letter)
- Letter from Fragomen (please email us if you have not received this letter)
- Demonstrate your ties to your home country by sharing your plans to return home after you complete your degree.
- You may be asked to share all of your social media platforms you have used within the last five years. As such you will be required to provide the following:
- Username, screen name, handle or other identifier for each platform you use or have used.
- Your current email address and phone number.
- Any email addresses and phone numbers you have used in the past five years.
Note: You will not be required to provide any of your passwords.
- Answer any and all questions honestly and calmly.
- Carry an ISSC business card.
Things to consider before traveling:
- Is your travel essential and worth the risk of issues with travel and reentry to the U.S.?
- Is there a travel restriction for you to return to the U.S. from the country you will be visiting? Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States
- Is there a quarantine requirement when you get to that country that you must fulfill? Quarantine is no longer required when you return to the U.S. but still recommended.
- Does the country you are visiting require COVID testing upon arrival? Health and travel history? Smart-phone based tracking of travel around the country?
- Do you need a visa for the country you will be visiting?
- Do you need to renew your visa to return to the US? Is the embassy open in the country you will be visiting and accepting F-1 or J-1 student visa appointments
- Will you have a layover in a country which has a travel restriction for the US? Are you able to have a layover in a different country?
- If you are unable to return to the US due to travel restrictions or embassy closures, can you continue your degree program from your home country or must you return to the US to continue?
- If you are graduating and considering pursuing Post-OPT, will you be back in the US in time to apply?
- If you are visiting a travel restricted country, you may need to obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE) visa to return to the U.S which you would automatically qualify for as an F-1 or J-1 student
Travel to Country Other Than Your Own
If you plan to travel to a country other than your own, you should contact the consulate of that country to find out if you need a visa to enter that country.
Travel to Canada, Mexico, and/or Adjacent Islands
The automatic visa revalidation process re-validates that you are eligible to enter to the U.S. for a single trip. It is not considered a new admission to the U.S. nor a renewal of a visa.
If you plan to travel to Mexico, Canada and neighboring islands/U.S. territories with an expired F or J visa, you may be allowed to enter the U.S. using the automatic visa revalidation process under the following conditions if you(r):
- Visit outside of U.S. is not more than 30 days and the purpose is pleasure or vacation only.
- Have maintained full-time F or J status at all times.
- Have an unexpired passport and last I-94 indicates a status of “Duration of Stay.”
- Have an I-20/DS-2019 with a valid travel signature
- Have not applied for a visa during the travel.
- Are not from North Korea, Iran, Sudan or Syria, which are countries identified as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the Department of State.
Travel While on Post-Completion OPT or STEM-OPT Extension
If you are completing Post-OPT or STEM-OPT Extension, your travel signature is only valid for six months from the date of the last signature or until the end date on your EAD card, whichever comes first.
*The ISSC does not recommend traveling while an OPT application is pending with USCIS.*
When planning to travel outside of the U.S., on Post-OPT or STEM-OPT, be prepared to take the following documents with you:
- Passport, valid six months into the future
- Valid F-1 visa. Please see Visa Renewal for instructions on how to renew your visa.
- OPT authorized I-20 with a valid travel signature endorsed within the last six months.
- Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)
- Job offer letter (if available)
- Bring a letter from your employer explaining the nature of the employment activities outside of the U.S. if you will be traveling for more than 30 days. Travels may not exceed 5 months.