Travel and Re-Entry to the U.S.
To re-enter the U.S. after a temporary absence you must carry the following documents
- Valid and updated I-20 or DS-2019 with travel endorsement (also known as a travel signature) from ISSO staff within last year (6 months while on OPT)
- Valid passport (at least 6 months into the future)
- Valid U.S. visa* (some exceptions may apply for travel to Canada or Mexico)
- Current proof of financial support
- Unofficial transcript
- OPT & STEM OPT students must have their EAD and employment verification letter from their employer
- Make sure that you are in lawful immigration status and eligible to return to the U.S.
- Upon your re-entry to the U.S. you can print your I-94 here
Possible questions at port of entry
- Answer honestly regarding drug and alcohol offenses - If you have been arrested, this information is available to visa and port of entry officers. You are advised to be honest if asked questions and to be aware that visas can be revoked for those arrested for DUI (driving while under the influence of alcohol) and other offenses.
- CBP may ask to see your phone - Remember that Customs and Border Protection has the right to search passengers’ electronic devices if they choose to. If you are asked to turn in your electronic devices, please behave respectfully and cooperate with the authorities.
Renewing your F-1 or J-1 Visa
Videos from U.S. Consulates/Embassies regarding the visa application process:
- Dubai, UAE (4:04)
- Manila, Phillipines
- Osaka-Kobe, Japan (3:16)
- Mumbai, India (4:07)
- Ottawa, Canada (6:34)
- F-1 FAQs from the Embassy in Hyderabad, India (5:06)
Traveling within the U.S.
- I-94 (Can be accessed here)
- I-20 or DS-2019
- EAD card if on OPT
For F-1 students currently on OPT or STEM OPT
How to Obtain a Travel Endorsement While We are Operating Remotely
During this time of modified operations in response to COVID-19, please submit an I-20 Reprint Request if you need a travel endorsement.
This service is only available while the university is closed and the ISSO is operating remotely.
We will go back to standard procedures to request a travel endorsement when UNC Charlotte resumes normal operations.
You MUST create an express shipment for your I-20. Due to our staff’s limited resources as we operate remotely due to the “Stay at Home” order, shipping via United States Postal Services (USPS) is not available at this time. Requests without express shipments WILL NOT be fulfilled.
How to Obtain a Travel Endorsement During Normal Operations
Option 1: Ship your I-20 to the ISSO at the address below:
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
Option 2: Send your I-20 to our office or bring it yourself.
In return, the ISSO will check your SEVIS record, sign the I-20, and then return the I-20 to you based upon the method you indicated on the I-20 Travel Endorsement Request Form.
A 2 to 3 business day processing time will apply to any of the above options once your I-20 has been received by the ISSO.
The ISSO will only sign the ORIGINAL copy of the I-20. We WILL NOT sign copies or scans.