Travel in the U.S.
Federal regulations require you to have evidence of your lawful status with you at all times. While traveling in the South Bend area, we recommend you carry both a copy of your I-94 record and a copy of the biographical page in your passport. Keep your passport in a secure location.
When traveling outside of the Notre Dame area, it is important to carry evidence of your lawful status, including your passport, I-94 record and I-20 or DS-2019. While your U.S. issued driver's license may be used to board a domestic flight, it is not evidence of lawful status in the U.S. Though it is extremely unlikely you will be questioned while traveling domestically via car, train, or bus, having these documents with you provides immediate proof of your lawful status in the U.S. As federal regulations allow Border Patrol agents some authority within 100 miles of any U.S. boundary, it is in your best interest to carry immediate proof of your lawful status if you were to be stopped and questioned.
Re-entering the United States
If you leave the United States –even for a short trip– and will be returning to the University of Notre Dame to continue your studies, you will need the following immigration documents to re-enter the U.S.:
- A passport that will be valid for at least six months after your intended return to the U.S.
- A valid F-1 or J-1 Visa stamp
- Most recent I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel validation signature
Travel signatures are valid for one year from date of signature for both the I-20 and DS-2019.
J-1 students with non-Notre Dame DS-2019s will need a travel signature from the agency/organization that issued their DS-2019.
Brief Travel to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands
If your visa is expired, and you will travel to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for less than thirty days, you may be eligible for Automatic Revalidation. Automatic Revalidation allows certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas to be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry by CBP.
- If your visa has expired, you will follow the same process as when you applied for the initial visa. There is not a separate renewal process.
- F-1 Students on OPT: your Employment Authorization (EAD) card is not a travel document. If your visa has expired and you exit during your OPT year, you can apply for a new visa with the I-20 and receipt notice or EAD card. To re-enter the U.S., you must present your valid passport, valid F-1 visa, a valid I-20 endorsed within the preceding 6 months, an unexpired EAD, and be returning to employment.
- You cannot enter on an ESTA/B visa to study; during your program, always enter on F-1 or J-1 status