It is essential to remember that you must take full legal responsibility for maintaining your status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). That is, you are responsible for finding out, knowing, and following pertinent regulations. All USCIS forms are available online.
If You Wish to Travel Outside the USA
You must have the following to re-enter the U.S.A:
- SEVIS I-20 with current signature on page 3 by an International Student Advisor.
- Valid passport.
- Valid (non-expired) F-1 Visa in your passport.
- Proof of financial support (sometimes requested at the Port of Entry).
- Valid MCC student ID card, and proof of full time registration for your current, or next, semester.
For those who have changed status within the USA
Though you have obtained F-1 Status, you have a different Visa in your passport.
As long as you remain in the United States studying and maintaining your status, you do not need to obtain an F-1 Visa in your passport. However, if you leave the United States, you will need to return to your home country to obtain an F-1 Visa.
Please know that there is a chance that your F-1 Visa could be denied. It is a risk to travel. If this is your situation, and you must return home, please make an appointment with an International Student Advisor for advice on what documents you should bring to your consulate in your home country.
If you have an expired Visa
You are permitted to stay in the United States on an expired F-1 Visa as long as you maintain your international student status. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States, you must revalidate your Visa in your home country, or a contiguous territory. Please note that there are challenges with revalidating your Visa in this manner. It is recommended that you revalidate your Visa only in your home country, so that you will have a valid Visa to re-enter the United States.
Ensure that you have all the documentation you need for your Visa application and allow sufficient time for processing a new Visa. The documentation you may need for a new Visa includes, but is not limited to the following:
- A SEVIS Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your International Student Advisor, and your original Form I-20.
- Original evidence showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
- Documentation that you are a full time student at MCC.
- Evidence of your registration for your current semester, or the following semester.
- Evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion, including evidence of compelling social and economic ties to your home country.