Winter Break Travel and Re-entry Information

OIS will be closed from December 24, 2018 through January 1, 2019 for winter break. Regular office hours will resume on January 2. Please visit the Travel section for detailed travel and re-entry information.

Information for students/scholars who are requesting a travel signature from abroad

Option 1: Request a Reprint of Your I-20/DS-2019

Email the Travel Signature and I-20/DS-2019 Request to OIS will reprint your I-20/DS-2019 and sign it for travel. OIS will express mail the document to you at your expense via eShipGlobal. Please be advised that express mail delivery options could take up to 1 week or longer during the holidays and this option may not be feasible depending on your return date. Please keep all previously issued I-20/DS-2019 for your records as you may need them for future immigration benefits. Any requests submitted during weekend or holiday closures will not be processed and mailed until the office reopens on January 2, 2019.

Option 2: Enter the US on I-515A

The I-515A is a document issued by the US Port of Entry officer that allows students and scholars to re-enter the US on a temporary status of 30 days.  If you do not have a valid travel signature, you will likely be issued a Form I-515A by the US Port of Entry officer.  Since this is a temporary stay document that only allows 30 days stay in the US, it is very important that you meet with an OIS advisor immediately upon arrival to fix your status to F-1 or J-1 D/S.  Entering on an I-515A may cause some delays at the Port of Entry, so please plan accordingly.

Emergency Contact Information During University Break

  • Emergencies at US Port of Entry:  USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (213) 740-6000
  • OIS email account ( will be checked periodically during university breaks.  Please note that only inquiries requiring immediate attention will receive a response during office closures.