What do I need to do if I am planning to travel abroad?

  • Consult the U.S. Department of State website to view travel advisories.
  • Make sure your documents are valid and you have a recent travel signature on your I-20;
    • DSO signatures must be less than a year old from your expected reentry as a continuing student.
    • If you are on OPT or STEM OPT, please consult with a Designated School Official (DSO).
  • Speak to a Designated School Official (DSO) in the Global Education Office (GEO) if you have any concerns about travel.

What documents do I need to take with me when I travel?

Be sure to carry the following documents with you whether you travel within the U.S. (outside of Wichita Falls) or abroad:

  • Unexpired passport;
  • Passport containing F-1 visa stamp;
  • Properly endorsed I-20 with valid signature from a DSO.

Do I need to renew my visa if I travel abroad?

If your non-immigrant visa stamp has expired, you will have to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S., unless you will be using Automatic Visa Revalidation;

Please speak with a DSO in GEO before you leave the U.S., if you plan to apply for a visa renewal. In most cases you will need the following documents if you will be renewing your F-1 visa while on vacation:

  • Official MSU Transcript;
  • Enrollment verification letter (obtained at the Office of the Registrar in Hardin South);
  • Proof of updated financial support and valid Form I-20; 
  • You will also want to check with the U.S. Embassy you are planning to apply from about processing time and procedures in your home country about setting up a visa appointment for a renewal.

What if I travel to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean?

  • If you plan to travel to a country that is contiguous* to the U.S. (but not Cuba!) and you intend to stay there less than 30 days, you will not need to apply for a new U.S. visa, and you may re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa stamp (this regulation is known as Automatic Visa Revalidation) as long as you are in active F-1 status.
  • Please note that citizens of Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Cuba will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. with an expired U.S. visa stamp, even if the trip is to a contiguous country.

Can I renew my U.S. visa while in Mexico or Canada?

  • In general, we do not recommend that third-country nationals apply for a U.S. visa in Mexico or Canada because of lengthy delays due to background/security checks and complications, in case of visa denial. Re-entry back into the United States will be based only on the successful approval of a visa.
  • If your visa application were to be denied, you would need to depart directly to your home country to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S.
  • You may not use Automatic Visa Revalidation if you applied for a visa while abroad. 

Do I need a visa to enter Mexico or Canada?

If you are traveling to Mexico or Canada, or any country that is not your country of citizenship, you may need a visa to enter that country.