Preparing for travel or reentry
To prepare for traveling abroad and/or reentering the United States, you should check that your immigration documents are valid prior to departing. See below for the required immigration documents for reentry.
Types of documents
Passport Accordion Closed
A passport is an official document issued by your home country’s government certifying your identity and nationality. You should always have a valid passport, and carry it with you anytime you leave Flagstaff. If your passport is expiring in less than six months, you should contact your home country embassy for renewal information as early as possible. Once you receive a new passport, upload a copy to iNAU.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should: notify email@example.com, file a police report with the police department nearest to where the passport was lost, and notify your home country embassy for replacement.
F/J-1 visa and visa renewal Accordion Closed
An F/J-1 visa is a sticker located in your passport that allows you to request entry travel to the United States as an F/J-1 student. Students from Bermuda and Canada do not require a visa sticker to enter the US.
Visas can be issued for:
- Single entry: allows the holder a single entry to the US before the visa expires
- Multiple entries: allows the holder multiple entries to the US until the visa expires
If your visa expires while you are in the United States, you still have legal status in the US as long as your I-20 or DS-2019 is valid, your I-94 indicates you are an F/J-1 student (Duration of Status – D/S), and you continue to maintain your F/J-1 student status. If you plan to travel outside the United States and your visa has expired or was a single entry visa, you need to apply for a new visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad to reenter. It is not possible to renew an F/J-1 visa in the United States.
Note: If you wish to travel to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for a period of fewer than 30 days and your visa is expired, you may be permitted to re-enter on an expired visa under automatic visa revalidation.
F/J-2 visa Accordion Closed
An F/J-2 visa is a sticker in the passport of an F/J-1 dependent, allowing them to request entry to the United States in F/J-2 status. Citizens of Bermuda and Canada do not require a visa sticker to enter the US.
If a dependent’s F/J-2 visa expires while they are in the United States, they still have legal status in the US, for as long as the F/J-1 is maintaining his/her status. If a dependent plans to travel outside of the United States and their visa has expired or was a single entry visa, they will need to apply for a new visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad to reenter. It is not possible to renew an F/J-2 visa in the United States.
I-20 Accordion Closed
An I-20 is an immigration document issued to you by NAU after you have been admitted and are eligible for study. This form is required to schedule an interview for an F-1 visa. You should carry it anytime you leave Flagstaff.
Students who are enrolled in a program of study on the NAU campus must have a valid I-20 with correct and up to date information including current major and financial information.
Be sure to check the end-date on your I-20 frequently and do not let it expire. If you lose your I-20 or it is damaged, or you require an extension or other update, you can make the request at iNAU.
You should always use the most recently issued I-20 for travel abroad with a valid travel signature if you are a continuing student.
Form DS-2019 Accordion Closed
Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status” is issued to you by NAU. This form is required to schedule an interview at a US consulate or embassy for a J-1 visa . Be sure to check the program end date on your DS-2019.
Students should carry all of their immigration documents, including the Form DS-2019, when they leave Flagstaff.
Travel authorization is required if traveling internationally. Students can request travel authorization by completing “Travel Signature Request” on iNAU. If you lose your Form DS-2019 or it is damaged, you can make the request at iNAU.
The end date on the DS-2019 is the date that the students program in the United States ends. However, J-1 students have a 30-day grace period after their program completion before they are required to leave the United States. This grace period may be used to prepare for departure or to travel within the United States. Students are not allowed to engage in any kind of employment during the grace period. If students depart the United States during their grace period, the grace period will end.
Students who are unable to complete the program by the end date of their DS-2019 must apply for a Program Extension on iNAU at least 60 days before the end date of Form DS-2019.
Students who intend to return home prior to the completion of their program should schedule an appointment with an ISSS international advisor.
Form I-94 Accordion Closed
The I-94 is a record of your legal entry to the United States and indicates your class of admission and the end-date of your legal status in the US. Your I-94 can be located after each entry to the United States on the Department of Homeland Security I-94 website.
Each time you travel and reenter the US you should check that your Form I-94 is correct and upload a copy on iNAU. It should include:
- class of admission (F/J-1)
- admit until date (D/S or “duration of status”)
If there is an error with the class of admission or admit until date, contact ISSS immediately.
We recommend printing a copy of your most recent I-94 and keeping it together with your immigration documents.
Lost or damaged documents
While it’s important to be careful with your immigration documents, accidents happen. NAU ISSS is only able to replace I-20 or DS-2019 SEVIS documents, which can be requested through iNAU.
Passports can be replaced in your home country or at the closest embassy or consulate. A US visa can only be replaced at a US embassy or consulate abroad, which will be needed if you plan to travel outside of the US and return in F-1/J-1 status. Students should notify ISSS@nau.edu if their passport is lost, stolen, or expired; however, students must contact their country’s embassy for a passport renewal or replacement.