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Travel Outside the U.S.

F1 international students can travel outside the United States, but you must request permission and bring the following documents on your trip:

  • valid passport with expiration date at least 6 months into the future
  • valid I-20 signed on page 3
  • valid F1 visa stamp in your passport
  • up-to-date academic transcript

If you changed to F1 status from another visa while in the United States, obtain an F1 visa stamp at a U.S. embassy while on your travels in order to return to the United States. Make an appointment with the International Admissions Office to learn how this process works.

You cannot travel if you are violating F1 status, or if you have been suspended or dismissed from TCC.

If you have graduated from TCC but are on OPT, the re-entry documents/requirements include your passport, plus these:

  • valid OPT EAD card, issued by USCIS
  • letter from employer stating valid dates of employment, on company letterhead

Before leaving the country

You must request permission to travel outside the United States from the TCC International Admissions Office at least four weeks before your planned departure. Bring these documents to the International Admissions Office:

  • your original I-20 form
  • copy of your passport's F1 visa stamp
  • copy of your passport's ID page
  • copy of your I-94 card, front and back, or information so we can find your digital I-94
  • completed travel request formListen (PDF will open in a new window)
  • copy of your travel plans with date of departure from the United States and date of return

We will respond within three to five business days. If you have any more questions, make an appointment to see us.

Traveling inside the USA

A travel request is not required if you plan to travel inside the United States. However, we recommend you take your original I-20 and passport on your trip.

Leaves of absence

You must make an appointment with the International Admissions Office if you plan to be away for 5 months or longer, or if your travel will cause you to miss any classes. Long travel may require a leave of absence from TCC, or it may result in an F1 status violation.

Traveling while classes are in session

If you plan to travel at any time during the semester, make an appointment to discuss your travel plans with the International Admissions Office. We recommend that you do not book travel plans during classes until talking with us. Students must be in good academic standing in the current semester to travel.

Updated April 19, 2016