Winter Break Travel and Re-entry Information

OIS will close at 4:00PM on December 17, 2021 for winter break and will resume regular office hours on January 3, 2022. Please visit the Travel section for detailed travel and re-entry information.

Information for continuing students and scholars requesting a travel signature during winter recess:

Please note, you do not need an I-20/DS-2019 to depart the U.S., only to re-enter.
Option 1: Request an I-20/DS-2019 Reprint

Please keep all previously issued I-20/DS-2019s for your records as you may need them for future immigration benefits. OIS will monitor the travel signature requests during winter recess and respond to urgent requests. All other requests will be processed when the office reopens on January 3, 2022.

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 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

  • The OIS email account ( will be checked periodically during university breaks. Only inquiries requiring immediate attention will receive a response during office closures.
  • Emergencies at US Port of Entry: USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (213) 740-6000
  • Students detained by U.S. immigration officials at an airport or land border port-of-entry, may call the USC Immigration Clinic Emergency Hotline at (213) 740-7435 and leave a detailed message including name, date of birth, nationality, current location, airline and flight number, phone number and email address. A representative from the Immigration Clinic will provide initial guidance.