Travel

F-1 Visa Holders

If traveling outside the U.S. with an unexpired visa, you must bring:

  • A valid passport.
  • A valid F-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport should be valid beyond the date of your return to the U.S. and should have multiple entries).
  • A valid SEVIS Form I-20 with travel endorsement signature from the International Office. The signature should be less than 6 months old.
  • An enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating full-time enrollment at UConn Health.
  • Retrieve your I-94 when you arrive back to the U.S. and always submit a copy to the International Office

             

            If you are applying for a new visa during your trip, please also obtain:

            • Financial support documents. If you are employed by UConn Health contact Elizabeth Fay for an employment verification letter from Human Resources. Please request it approximately 3 weeks before you travel.
            • Most recent transcript and a letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating full-time enrollment at UConn Health.
            • Marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children if your dependents will be applying for F-2 dependent visas.

             

            Travel on Approved Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM OPT Extension

            • In addition to the documents above, carry your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), employment verification letter, and paystubs.
            • Proof of employment is very important when traveling on OPT. As long as your travel is part of time-off authorized by your employer (such as vacation), it does not count as part of your 90 days of unemployment on OPT (150 total days for STEM extension students).
            • If you need to travel after graduation, while your OPT application is still pending, please contact the International Office to discuss your plans.

            J-1 Visa Holders

            If traveling outside the U.S. with an unexpired visa, you must bring:

            • A valid passport
            • A valid J-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport should be valid beyond the date of your return to the U.S. and should have multiple entries).
            • A valid SEVIS Form DS-2019 with travel validation signature from the International Office. The signature should be less than 6 months old.
            • Note: J-1 students should obtain an enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating full-time enrollment at UConn Health.
            • Retrieve your I-94 when you arrive back to the U.S. and always submit a copy to the International Office.

             

            If you are applying for a new visa during your trip, please also obtain:

            • Financial support documents. If you are employed by UConn Health contact Elizabeth Fay for an employment verification letter from Human Resources. Please request it approximately 3 weeks before you travel.
            • Note: J-1 researchers such as postdocs should carry: publications, tax returns, original degree, proof of U.S. residence (i.e. – apartment lease).
            • Note: J-1 students should carry a recent transcript and enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating full-time enrollment at UConn Health.
            • Marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children if your dependents will be applying for J-2 dependent visas.

            H-1B Visa Holders

            If traveling outside the U.S. with an unexpired visa, you must bring:

            • A valid passport
            • An original I-797 Approval Notice from USCIS, which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel. Please contact the International Office before you travel to borrow the original I-797 document. You will need to return it when you get back to UCHC.
            • A valid H-1B visa stamp in the passport.
            • An employment verification letter from Human Resources. Contact Elizabeth Fay via email to request this letter. Please request it approximately 3 weeks before you travel.
            • Retrieve your I-94 when you arrive back to the U.S. and always submit a copy to the International Office.

             

            If you are applying for a new visa during your trip, please also obtain:

            • Copy of the Form I-129 filed by the employer
            • Copy of the Labor Condition Application
            • Copy of the Department’s support letter
            • Pay statements from UConn Health, copies of tax returns, and proof of U.S. residence (i.e. – apartment lease)
            • Original versions of your diplomas. Physicians will be required to provide their original license.
            • Copies of several recent publications
            • Marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children if your dependents will be applying for H-4 dependent visas.

            O-1 Visa Holders

            If traveling outside the U.S. with an unexpired visa, you must bring:

            • A valid passport.
            • An original I-797 Approval Notice from USCIS, which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel.
            • A valid O-1 visa stamp in the passport.
            • An employment verification letter from Human Resources. Contact Elizabeth Fay via email to request this letter. Please request it approximately 3 weeks before you travel.
            • Retrieve your I-94 when you arrive back to the U.S. and always submit a copy to the International Office.

              If you are applying for a new visa during your trip, please also obtain:

              • Copy of the Form I-129 filed by the employer.
              • Copy of the Department’s support letter.
              • Pay statements from UConn Health, copies of tax returns, and proof of U.S. residence (i.e. – apartment lease)
              • Original versions of your diplomas. Physicians will be required to provide their original license.
              • Copies of several recent publications
              • Marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children if your dependents will be applying for dependent visas.

              TN Visa Holders

              All Canadian TN visa holders planning to travel outside of the U.S. must have the following documents to present for re-entry into the Unites States:

              • An I-94 card annotated by USCIS as TN, valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel. If your last entry to the U.S. was by air, you must retrieve and print your I-94 on the I-94 Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security.
              • Canadian passport
              • The faculty sponsor letter that was used in obtaining the most recent TN status.
              • A copy of your degree certificate as evidence that you are eligible for a TN visa.

               

              All Mexican TN visa holders planning to travel outside of the U.S. must have the following documents to present for re-entry into the Unites States:

              • An I-94 card annotated by USCIS as TN, valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel. If your last entry to the U.S. was by air, you must retrieve and print your I-94 on the I-94 Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security.
              • Mexican passport
              • Valid TN visa
              • The faculty sponsor letter that was used in obtaining the most recent TN status.
              • A copy of your degree certificate as evidence that you are eligible for a TN visa.

              The current COVID-19 situation has resulted in many restrictions on international travel, including heightened advisories, travel bans, and partial or full closings of U.S. embassies abroad.

              Please keep yourself up-to-date on the latest travel and COVID-19 information by consulting the following resources:

              If you are considering international travel at this time, please contact the International Office via email as soon as possible to discuss your plans.

              Travel to Canada and Mexico

              If you are traveling to Canada or Mexico, it’s important to check with the Canadian Consulate or Mexican Consulate to see if you need a visa to enter the country based on your citizenship.

              If you are on F or J status, you need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 before you travel. The signature should be less than 6 months old.

              Traveling to Canada or Mexico with an Expired Visa

              • If traveling to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days, most F and J holders can re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa if they have a valid I-94 and endorsed I-20 or DS-2019. This is called Automatic Visa Revalidation – please visit the Department of Homeland Security website for more information.
              • Nationals from certain countries listed as “state sponsors of terrorism” will always require a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. These countries currently include North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Syria. See here for more information.
              • Visa renewal in Canada or Mexico: It is possible for a third country national to renew their visa in a U.S. consulate in Canada or Mexico; however, you must have the new visa before you can return to the U.S. Therefore, if there are processing delays, you could be “stuck” outside the U.S. for longer than intended.
              • Applying for a new visa is not the same as automatic visa revalidation. You cannot apply for a new visa and take advantage of automatic visa revalidation at the same time.

              Travel with an Expired Visa

              • The visa in your passport determines how often you can enter the U.S., but not the duration of your stay.
              • If the visa stamp in your passport has expired, you may stay in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of the visa as long as your immigration status and your visa document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797) remains valid.
              • If you choose to travel outside the U.S., you must secure a new visa from the U.S. Embassy where you are traveling. You cannot renew a visa inside the U.S.
              • Applying for and processing a new visa can take time, so it is important to plan your trip accordingly.
              • Visit the U.S. Embassies website to review the requirements at the U.S. Embassy you plan to visit. Additional travel information is available at the U.S. Department of State website.
              • See the Travel to Canada and Mexico section for more information on these countries