Travel and Visa Requirements
ISSS Guide :: Travel & Visa Resources
Below is general information for F-1 students currently studying in an academic program or the English Language Institute at A&M-Commerce.
Currently students must have a valid travel signature to re-enter the U.S. The travel signature on the second page of the I-20 is valid for 12-months from the date of the signature for re-entry to the U.S.
Students do not need a new travel signature each time they travel outside the U.S. if their current signature on the second page of their I-20 is valid through the date of re-entry.
Students who travel outside the U.S. with an expired visa will need to renew their visas before they will be allowed to re-enter the U.S.
Also, students who do not have a visa due to an approved change of status application within the U.S will need to apply for a visa before they may re-enter the U.S.
The ISSS does not recommend that students travel to Canada or Mexico to renew their visa unless they are citizens of those countries.
Students who will not enroll in courses or will withdraw from courses for the fall or spring semester and will return to their home country will need to review the Authorized Early Withdrawal guidance below.
Students who will not enroll in courses or withdraw from courses for the fall or spring semester and will not return to their home country will need to contact the ISSS by the 5th day of class or before withdrawing from courses to discuss their situation.
TEMPORARY ABSENCE FROM STUDIES (LEAVE OF ABSENCE)
If an F-1 or J-1 Exchange Visitor or their dependents (F-2 or J-2) arrive at a U.S. port of entry and do not have all signed required documents, have not paid the I-901 SEVIS Fee on their current I-20 (F visa) or DS-2019 (J visa) or have SEVIS status issue, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer may deny the individual entry into the United States.
- As an alternative, the officer has discretion to issue a Form I-515A “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.” This document allows the individual temporary admission into the U.S. for 30 days.
- The individual must contact the ISSS immediately and provide the necessary documents to the SEVP I-515A processing team no later than 30 days from the date of entry into the U.S.
If you are issued a Form I-515A you will need to contact the ISSS immediately and provide a copy of the Form I-515A.
- The ISSS will review your Form I-515A and provide any additional documentation if necessary (copy of updated I-20).
- You must submit all required documents as stated on the Form I-515A within 30 days to the SEVP Form I-515A processing team.
- The mailing address and instructions are provided on the Form I-515A.
Once submitted you are expected to resume your studies (current students) or continue your employment (OPT students).
- It will take SEVP an average of 2-3 months to process your I-515A and their response will be sent to the ISSS.
- If you are denied then you will need to depart the U.S. immediately.
- If you are approved then you may continue your studies or OPT employment.