As an international student studying in the United States with an F1 visa, you know that traveling outside the country requires a valid travel document. One of the essential documents you must have to re-enter the US is the travel signature i20. In this article, we’ll discuss what it is, why you need it, and how to obtain it.
What is a travel signature i20?
A travel signature i20 is a document that shows you have the necessary authorization to travel outside the United States and re-enter the country. It’s a page within your Form I-20 that your Designated School Official (DSO) signs when you plan to travel outside the US.
It’s important to note that the travel signature i20 is not a visa. You still need a valid F1 visa to travel outside the US. However, the travel signature i20 is essential in ensuring you’re allowed back into the country.
Why do you need a travel signature i20?
When you travel outside the United States, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers inspect your documents to determine your admissibility to the country. The travel signature i20 helps the CBP officers verify your identity and eligibility to enter the US.
The travel signature i20 has an expiration date, typically one year from the date it was signed. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have a valid travel signature i20 before leaving the country.
How to obtain a travel signature i20
To obtain a travel signature i20, you need to follow these steps:
- Contact your Designated School Official (DSO) at least two weeks before your planned travel date.
- Provide your DSO with your current I-20 document, your passport, and your visa.
- Your DSO will review your documents and sign the travel signature i20 if everything is in order.
- Pick up your signed I-20 document from your DSO before you travel.
|How long does it take to obtain a travel signature i20?
|You should contact your DSO at least two weeks before your planned travel date to allow enough time for processing.
|How long is the travel signature i20 valid?
|The travel signature i20 is valid for one year from the date it was signed by your DSO.
|What happens if I travel outside the US without a valid travel signature?
|You may be denied entry back into the country, and you’ll need to apply for a new travel signature i20 before returning to the US.
|Do I need a new travel signature i20 if I visit Canada or Mexico?
|You don’t need a new travel signature i20 if you travel to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for less than 30 days.
|Can I obtain a travel signature i20 outside of the US?
|No, you must obtain a travel signature i20 from your DSO in the US.
In conclusion, as an international student with an F1 visa, it’s essential to have a valid travel signature i20 to ensure hassle-free re-entry into the United States after traveling outside the country. Follow the steps outlined above to obtain a travel signature i20 and ensure that you have a valid one before traveling.