Can I travel internationally outside the U.S. during my program?

You may travel internationally outside the U.S. during your program, but be sure that you carefully read and follow the instructions below before you plan your trip. 

Travel Endorsement Signature:  A travel endorsement signature is required on page 2 of your I-20 if you are planning to travel outside the U.S. and re-enter at any time during your program of study. Please note that this includes short trips to Canada and Mexico, even if you are visiting for the day. Travel endorsement signatures are valid for a period of one year OR until the program end date indicated on page 1 of your I-20, whichever comes first.

The travel signature confirms to the U.S. Customs/border officer that we have authorized your international travel while you are participating in our program, which allows you to re-enter the United States. If you need a travel endorsement signature, stop by the Professional and Continuing Education Office with your I-20. Please plan to do so well in advance of your travel dates to be sure the office is open and that a staff member is available to authorize your international travel. When you travel internationally, even if only for the day, be sure to bring your valid (unexpired) passport with valid visa, and your I-20 with travel endorsement signature.

Mexico Travel Warning: The U.S. Department of State has issued warnings about the risk of traveling to certain locations in Mexico due to safety threats posed by organized criminal groups in the country. Please carefully review the most recent Mexico travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State prior to your trip, even if you only plan on visiting for the day. 

If you plan to visit Canada: Visitors who do not need a visa to enter Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to (or transit through) Canada. This is similar to ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) currently required for qualifying visitors to the United States. Applying is simple, inexpensive, and takes just minutes to complete. You can find more detailed information regarding applying to eTA on the Canadian government website.

60-Day Grace Period: At the conclusion of your program, you are given a 60-day grace period during which you may remain in the United States on an F-1 student visa. You are welcome to stay and enjoy Santa Barbara or to travel within the United States during this 60-day period immediately following the program end date indicated on your I-20. However, if at any time during this 60-day grace period you exit the United States, your F-1 student visa status will no longer be valid—even if the expiration date on your visa is still valid. Should you wish to re-enter the United States, you will need to do so as tourist status. 

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