Travel

IMPORTANT TRAVEL NOTICE

Before planning international travel, please read our updates regarding the recent Executive Order affecting immigration protocols.

Travel in the US

When you're traveling within the United States, we strongly recommend that you carry your passport, I-94, and a valid certificate of eligibility document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797).

You don't need to have a travel signature, and the visa stamp in your passport can be expired.

International travel

Before all international travel, please complete the travel information update e-form in ISSS Link.

At least 3 weeks before you travel outside the US, you should review our travel checklists and make sure you have all the documents you need. Check your passport and visa stamp to make sure they will be valid when you return to the US. 

If you need to get a new visa stamp while you're abroad, contact the US embassy or consulate to schedule an interview before you start your travels.

In general, you should bring:

  • Passport valid at least 6 months past the date you'll return to the US
  • Valid visa (except citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
  • Valid certificate of eligibility (I-20, DS-2019, I-797)

If you're in F or J status, you'll need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. ISSS advisors can give travel signatures during walk-in hours, and we also offer special travel signature days around holidays and school breaks.

If you are an international scholar, email your ISSS advisor to let them know about your travels at least 2 weeks before you leave.

If you don't have all the required documentation, the US Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may deny your entry to the US.


International SOS (ISOS)

Emory contracts with International SOS (ISOS) to provide security and medical evacuation services, and a variety of health, safety, and security resources for the university community traveling abroad.  If you haven't, upload your itinerary before your departure. If your travel plans change during your trip, please upload your new itinerary in ISOS immediately for proper assistance.


Travel to Mexico, Canada, and neighboring islands

Travel to Canada, Mexico, and neighboring islands (except Cuba) is handled somewhat differently than travel to other countries.

You still have to carry your immigration document with a valid travel signature, but the entry visa can be expired. There is a special provision called automatic revalidation that allows certain international visitors with expired entry visas to make brief visits (less than 30 days) to Canada, Mexico, and the neighboring islands (for F and J visa holders only), then return to the US without applying for a new visa. Learn more >>

If you take a cruise to the Caribbean, when you return, make sure the customs officer enters your I-94 information. If an entry stamp hasn't been added to your passport, politely request one before you leave the booth.


Lost or outdated I-20 or DS-2019

  • If you are outside of the US and need a new travel signature on your document, fill out the travel information e-form in ISSS Link and then request express mailing service.
  • You need a current I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature in order to enter the US. Make sure you don’t put your documents in your checked luggage!

  • If you don’t have your I-20 or DS-2019 with you, the CBP officer might issue you an I-515A, which allows you to enter the US for 30 days. Info about the I-515A >>  

  • If travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 has expired, the CBP officer might issue you an I-515A, which allows you to enter the US for 30 days. Info about the I-515A >>  
  • If you are issued an I-515A, please meet with your ISSS advisor within 2 business days. If your I-515A is not handled in a timely manner, you will have to leave the US.

  • If you lose your I-20 or DS-2019 while you are outside the US, log in to ISSS Link and fill out the I-20 or DS-2019 replacement request e-form so that ISSS can ship a replacement document to you before you travel back to the US.

  • If you lose your passport outside the US, please contact your country's embassy as soon as possible to get a new passport. You should also contact the nearest US embassy to get a new visa.

  • If you lose your passport while you're in the US, contact your home country’s embassy or consulate and ask for a replacement.

  • If you're a student, we suggest that you carry a copy of your unofficial transcript that you can print from your OPUS account.

  • If you're a scholar or employee, we recommend carrying a copy of your appointment or invitation letter and a printout of your most recent Emory pay statement, if you’re paid by Emory.

Travel signatures

If you're in F or J status, you will need to fill out the travel information update e-form in ISSS Link and then come in to the ISSS office before you travel internationally so that your I-20 or DS-2019 can be endorsed for travel. (H-1B employees don't need one.)

ISSS advisors can give travel signatures during walk-in hours, and we also offer special travel signature days for you and your dependents around holidays and school breaks.

If you're pursuing a degree, the signature is valid for 1 year. If you already have a travel signature on your document but it will be more than 1 year old when you return to the US, you need to get a new signature.

If you're on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT), the signature is valid for 6 months.