Travel Signature and Re-entry Documents

Travel Signatures

OIS Processing Time: 4 business days

The travel signature for F-1’s is located on the bottom of page 2 of your I-20. The travel signature for J-1’s is located in the bottom right corner of page 1 of your DS-2019.

You are required to have a travel signature on your I-20/ DS-2019 in order to re-enter the United States. Only a Designated School Official/ Responsible Officer at the Office of International Services are permitted to sign for travel.

Travel signatures are valid for up to one year or until the end of your program, whichever is sooner.

Exceptions:

F-1 students on OPT STEM:  Travel signatures are valid for 6 months or until the end of program, whichever is sooner.

J-1 students on Academic Training: Travel Signatures are valid for 6 months or until the end of the program, whichever is sooner.

J-1 Short-term Scholars: Travel signatures are valid for 6 months or until the end of program, whichever is sooner.

Please submit the documents listed below to OIS to obtain a travel signature on your I-20/ DS-2019:

  1. Travel Signature Request Form
  2. Original I-20/ DS-2019 (Include dependents if needed)

Re-entry Documents

In order to re-enter the US after a temporary absence, students/scholars must carry the following documents:

  1. Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of the re-entry to the U.S.)
  2. Valid F-1/J-1 student visa in passport (except students from Canada)
  3. I-20/DS-2019 with a valid travel signature from OIS

Students are permitted a temporary absence with prior authorization for up to 5 months. Student who will be out of the country for more than 5 months must apply for a Leave of Absence.

Scholars are permitted a temporary absence with prior authorization from sponsoring department and OIS for up to 30 days.

Recommended Supporting Documents:

  1. Financial support documents (proof of funding)
  2. USC acceptance letter (students) or invitation letter (scholars)
  3. Paper receipt of form I-901: SEVIS fee payment
  4. Students only: Copy of USC transcript and/or proof of course registration
  5. Contact information for OIS

F-1 Students on OPT must carry the following documents:

  1. Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of the re-entry to the U.S.)
  2. Valid F-1 student visa in passport (except students from Canada)
  3. OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement from OIS (signatures are valid for 6 months)
  4. Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card
  5. Proof of current employment or offer letter

For more details on traveling during OPT, please view the OPT online workshop.

Reminder: Upon re-entry to the US, students should print out their I-94 Arrival/Departure record.

Sample travel signature on old version of Form I-20

Sample Travel Signature for Old I-20

Sample travel signature on Redesigned Form I-20

Sample Travel Signature for Redesigned I-20

Sample travel signature on DS-2019

Sample DS 2019