Travel and Visa Information | International Student Services
International students MUST maintain their legal immigration status at all times in order to remain legally in the United States. Here are some special considerations to keep in mind.
Traveling During School Breaks
If you plan to travel during academic breaks, be sure to check that your documents are in order. If you have any questions, we are here to help.
Traveling Outside the U.S.
If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S. during academic breaks, please contact Wheelock's International Student Services Office before you depart. We will check your documents and possibly produce a new I-20 prior to your departing the U.S. Carry your valid passport, current I-20 Form, and Wheelock ID. A signature of a Designated School Official (DSO) is required on your I-20 every six months. Check that the F1 visa stamp in your passport is still valid. If not, you will need to apply for a new one before reentering the U.S.
Traveling Within the U.S.
For travel in the U.S., we recommend that you carry your original I-20 Form, passport, and a printout of your I-94. Learn how to print your I-94.
Frequently Asked Questions about Travel
What do I need to do when I leave the US? For weekends? For breaks?
You need to carry your valid passport with a valid U.S. visa stamp and valid I-20 signed by a D.S.O. within six months. You should also carry your Wheelock student ID as proof of your active student status. As for entering any country other than your home country and other than the U.S., including Canada or Mexico, each country has its own rules about who needs a visa to enter and who doesn't. The best way to find out is to call the consulate or embassy of the country you will visit and ask. Also, check your destination country's website.
Do I need a DSO's signature every time I leave the country?
No. Have your I-20 signed once every six months.
What should I do if my passport expires?
BEFORE your passport expires, call or visit your home country's website for information about the required paperwork. Be sure to start the process WELL in advance of any expected travel or the expiration date.
When does my I-20 expire?
Your I-20 expires on the date listed under the section Program of Study. If you will not graduate by that date, it is important to contact Wheelock's International Student Services Office well in advance of the expiration date so that we can start an extension process. If you will graduate early, contact us. ALSO, the I-20 is only valid if you are actually doing what your I-20 says: attending Wheelock College full time. If you anticipate any breaks in your academic progress (semester off, transfer, illness, etc.), please contact us immediately for advice.