Travel outside the U.S.

If you choose to travel abroad during your time as a student or scholar at Wayne State University (WSU), you'll want to make re-entry to the U.S. as smooth as possible. Having the right documents with you will help.

Before making any travel plans that will take you outside the U.S., consult with your Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) advisor. You should also review any current travel warnings before you travel abroad. 

Short-term travel (less than 30 days)

Under automatic revalidation, if you are a visa holder in F, J, H or O status, or you have legally changed status in the U.S., you can travel to Canada and/or Mexico and return to the U.S. within 30 days using an expired visa stamp in your passport.

Students and scholars in F and J status also can enter an adjacent island (islands in the Caribbean except Cuba) and re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa stamp.

Don't forget that you may need an entry visa to enter Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands, so check with any country you plan to visit to find out if you need a visa to enter.

You may not leave Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island to travel to another country and return to the U.S. with your expired visa stamp. All of your travel must remain within contiguous countries (or an adjacent island if you hold F or J status).

Do not apply for a visa of any kind at a U.S. embassy or consulate while visiting Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, as you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa stamp if you have applied for a new visa, even if the application decision is pending.

Citizens of countries designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism must always have a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. You are not eligible for automatic revalidation.

Remember that you may still have to pass security or other clearances before being allowed to re-enter the U.S. That may require you to remain outside the U.S. for up to 120 additional businesses days, so it's important to understand what is needed before you can reenter the U.S.

Long-term travel (more than 30 days)

If your visa has expired and you will be out of the country for more than 30 days, you must apply for a new U.S. entry visa to return. This may require an in-person interview or other delays, so make sure to give yourself ample time to apply for a new visa.

Required documents

  • F-1 visa and J-1 visa holders travelling for less than 30 days
    • Valid Form I-20 (F-1 and F-2) or DS-2019 (J-1 and J-2), properly endorsed for re-entry by OISS
    • Passport valid for at least six months from date of re-entry
    • Valid I-94 card
    • Proof of financial support for the length of your stay in the U.S.
    • Copies of your transcripts and current schedule of classes (if relevant)
    • F-1 students on OPT: Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and an official letter of offer
    • Visiting scholars: copy of invitation letter
  • H-1B or O-1 visa holders travelling for less than 30 days
    • Valid passport
    • Valid I-94 card
    • Original I-797 Approval Notice
    • Letter of employment explaining you are employed by WSU in the same position as described in the H-1B or O-1 petition, and that you must enter the U.S. to continue that employment
    • WSU OneCard
    • Copy of your most recent pay stub
    • If H-1B: a copy of most recent Labor Condition Application (LCA)
    • If H-1B (if applicable): your original Form I-797 Approval Notice for a Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Form I-612). 
  • J-1 exchange visitors travelling for more than 30 days
    • Valid Form DS-2019 (J-1 and J-2) endorsed for re-entry by OISS
    • Valid passport
    • Valid J-1 visa
    • Letter from your supervisor verifying continued employment/sponsorship
  • H-1B or O-1 workers traveling for more than 30 days
    • Valid passport
    • Valid H-1B or O-1 visa
    • Original I-797 Approval Notice
    • Copy of I-129 petition
    • Two or three recent pay stubs
    • Letter from your supervisor confirming continued employment
  • H-1B workers traveling with an approved H1-B portability petition

    Travel and H-1B portability

    Under certain circumstances, if you hold H-1B status in the U.S. and WSU has properly filed an H-1B petition under the H-1B portability provisions, you may travel abroad and apply for readmission to the U.S.

    You should not travel until the H-1B portability petition by WSU is officially approved by USCIS.

    • Passport valid for more than six months from the date of your intended return
    • Valid H-1B visa obtained at a U.S. consulate overseas (annotated with the name of a previous H-1B employer)
    • Original I-797 Approval Notice for the previous H-1B employer
    • Original I-797 Receipt Notice issued to WSU for filing the H-1B portability petition
    • Proof of your employment with WSU, such as recently issued pay stubs and/or a recent letter from your supervisor confirming your employment
    • Photocopy of your I-94 issued at the time of your last entry
    • Photocopy of WSU's H-1B portability petition filed with the USCIS, which includes the Labor Condition Application

    Scholars who have more than one employer

    Your I-94 card must list all of your employers, not just WSU. Make sure to present relevant documents from all of your employers to immigration. If you aren't truthful and fail to fully disclose everywhere you are employed, you could lose your eligibility to work in the U.S