International Student Travel


Please make sure that all your documents are in proper order to avoid any complications when re-entering the U.S. Please review the following information to learn more.

F-1 Documents required for re-entry to the U.S.:

  1. I-20 with VALID TRAVEL SIGNATURE on page 3 (signatures are valid for 1 year). To request for an updated signature, submit your I-20 to International Student Services staff as soon as possible and plan for 1-3 business days processing time.
  2. Passport, valid 6 months into the future. To request for an extension or replacement of a lost passport, contact your country's embassy in the U.S. For a list of foreign embassies in the U.S., check out the Department of State website.
  3. Valid F-1 visa stamp. If your entry visa stamp in your passport has expired (or will expire while you are out of the U.S.), you must apply for a renewal at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad before your return. For a list of U.S. embassies/consulates worldwide look here: *Keep reading below for more details on applying for a renewal of an expired F-1 visa stamp.

F-1 Documents recommended for re-entry to the U.S.:

  1. Verification of Enrollment Letter from central records. To request for a letter, contract central records directly and PLAN FOR 10 BUSINESS DAYS PROCESSING TIME.
  2. Printout of your class schedule from TheHub. If you are traveling mid-semester, print the current semester's schedule. If you are traveling during winter, summer, or break, print NEXT semester's schedule, even if your classes will change in the future.


At your re-entry to the U.S.:

When the immigration officials check your documents and stamp forms at the U.S. port of entry, make sure they return all forms to you and accurately stamp/write on your PASSPORT: F-1 until "D/S" and not another visa category/date.

The customs officer will stamp your passport and provide you with instructions on how to access an electronic I-94. See more info below under "Travel Documentation Updates"

Emergency contact information to keep with you while traveling:

During business office hours (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.): 413.559.6205,

 24 hours: Hampshire Campus Safety at 413.559.5424.

Common questions regarding preparation of F-1 Documents for travel abroad:

Is my I-20 travel signature up to date?

Your I-20 must be signed by a designated school official at Hampshire College (International Student Services) within one year (six months for students on OPT) of re-entry into the U.S. to be valid. The signature page is page 2 of your most current I-20. Please do not wait until the last minute to request a travel signature. Email to schedule a drop off time.

Is my passport in order?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) have advised that all passports should be valid at least six (6) months into the future when traveling. If you need to extend your current passport, or obtain a new passport, please contact your embassy or consulate in the U.S. immediately to confirm the processing time and procedures.

Do I need a new U.S. Entry Visa Stamp to re-enter the U.S.?

If your entry visa stamp in your passport has expired (or will expire while you are out of the U.S.), you will need to apply for a new entry visa stamp at the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad prior to your re-entry. Processing times may be longer than your initial experience at the U.S. embassy. It will be most helpful to contact the embassy or consulate now to confirm what documents are needed, to confirm if an appointment is necessary, how to schedule the interview appointment, and how long it will take to obtain your new entry visa stamp. The U.S. Department of State maintains a listing of links to U.S. embassies/consulates worldwide here: Please note that the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State have advised that airlines may not allow passengers to board their plane back to the U.S. if they do not have a current and valid entry visa stamp along with the corresponding SEVIS visa document. It is therefore essential to make sure that you plan for enough time abroad to obtain your entry visa stamp prior to your return to the U.S. Visa holders are not able to obtain new entry visa stamps from within the U.S.; one must apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate while abroad.

NOTE: If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island (except Cuba) for less than 30 days, you may be eligible for Automatic Revalidation upon entry to the U.S.. To find out if this applies to you,read this page. If this does not apply to you, apply for a new entry visa as directed above.

What do I need to do in order to apply for an F-1 Entry Visa Renewal?

Plan ahead and expect delays; processing times may be longer than your initial experience at the U.S. embassy. Consult individual embassy websites for periodic updates on country-specific visa processing. For a list of U.S. embassies/consulates worldwide look here:

F-1 Documents REQUIRED for visa renewal:

  1. I-20 endorsed for travel within the last SIX months
  2. Passport valid for 6 months into the future 
  3. Transcripts from Hampshire College AND Verification of Enrollment Letter from Central Records (Request a transcript/letter directly from Central Records; plan on 10 business days processing time.
  4. Financial support documentation for the amount listed on page one of your current I-20.

*You will need additional materials depending on the U.S. embassy/consulate, for the visa interview, so make sure that you check the visa application guidelines and application on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply:

What do I need to know about traveling to a country other than my home country?

If you will be traveling to a country outside the U.S., other than your home country, it will be important to confirm if you will need to obtain a visa to enter or stop over (vacation, study, layover, etc.).

To verify if a visa is required, you must contact that country's local embassy or consulate of that country located in the U.S. directly.

Be sure to do this well in advance as some consulates require mail-in procedures that can take some weeks to process.

What do I need to prepare if I'm traveling in the U.S. (outside of western Mass)?

We strongly recommend that you carry ALL of the F-1 documents listed above, regardless of where you will travel.