You should always have proof of immigration status whenever you travel by plane, bus, train, or car. We advise that you carry your original immigration documents while traveling domestically, in case you need to produce copies for identification purposes.
If you are traveling around the NYC area, it’s a good idea to carry copies of your immigration documents. While it is extremely unlikely that you would be questioned, having these documents with you provides immediate proof of your lawful status in the US.
Travel Outside the US
Going abroad for a convention? Taking a trip home? Visiting Canada for the weekend? Be sure that you have all the documents necessary to get back to the US! If you have any questions or concerns before you leave the US, please consult an advisor at International Faculty and Research Scholar Services.
Remember, the US government determines your and any family member's eligibility to enter the US. Be prepared and have the needed travel documents with you. Be prepared to present to an immigration inspector the following:
Be sure that your passport is valid at least six months into the future from the day you intend to come back to the US
Check your visa to make sure it will be unexpired on your intended return date. Also note the number of entries allowed on your visa. If you need to travel but your visa has expired, you must apply for a new visa at a US Consulate/Embassy abroad. It is best to apply for a visa in your home country. If you apply in a country other than your home country, expect processing delays.
- If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need an entry visa to enter the US from Canada or another country. However, you must show appropriate immigration documents (see below) when crossing the immigration border to get the right status on your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
- J-1: DS-2019 form with travel signature (dated within the last 12 months in the "Travel Validation by Responsible Officer" section at the bottom right of your form).
- H-1B: original Form I-797 (H-1B approval notice); employment letter from your department dated within 6 months of your intended re-entry date which confirms your salary, title, and employment dates; copy of the H-1B petition (Form I-129); and a copy of the Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035) NYU filed with your most recent petition.
- Permanent Resident Applicants: If you have an approved permanent resident petition (I-140) filed by NYU and will be re-entering the US in H-1B status, you should also carry a copy of your I-140 Immigrant Petition approval notice (Form I-797). Further, if you have applied to the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) for adjustment of status (I-485), you should also carry the USCIS receipt showing submission of your adjustment application.
- E-3: copy of the NYU’s Labor Condition Application (LCA, Form ETA 9053) certified by the Department of Labor; original Form I-797 E-3 approval notice (if a petition was filed with USCIS), which shows your E-3 approval for NYU; documentation showing eligibility for employment in a specialty occupation; and an employment letter from your department dated within 6 months of your intended re-entry date which confirms your salary, title, and employment dates.
- O-1: original Form I-797 which shows your O-1 approval for NYU; employment letter from your department dated within 6 months of your intended re-entry date which confirms your salary, title, and employment dates; and a copy of the O-1 petition (Form I-129) NYU filed for you.
- TN: Canadian citizens must keep a copy of the $50 fee payment receipt for TN status for re-entry into the US. Mexican citizens need a valid TN visa for re-entry into the US.
You must also carry evidence of your financial documentation, such as an NYU appointment letter, an award letter from a funding organization, or personal financial documents.
If you are traveling with your spouse or child(ren), please ensure that both you and your family members have the needed documents to return to the US.
- J-2 dependents must carry their valid passport, unexpired J-2 visa, DS-2019 with travel signature, and proof of financial support;
- H-4 dependents must carry a valid passport and their valid H-4 visa stamp for re-entry;
- E-3D dependents must carry a valid passport with valid E-3D visa stamp for re-entry;
- O-3 dependents must carry a valid passport with valid O-3 visa stamp for re-entry.
Most scholars do not need a new US visa to return to the US after visiting an adjacent country, due to a process known as Automatic Revalidation. Through this process, you do not need a new visa stamp when you travel to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands of the Caribbean (except Cuba) for 30 days or less, even if your current one has expired.
*H/O/E visa holders are only eligible for automatic revalidation after travel to Canada and Mexico, NOT the Caribbean.
- be in lawful status;
- present valid immigration documents:
- J-1: valid DS-2019 form with valid travel signature;
- H-1B: USCIS issued I-797 Approval Notice;
- E-3: valid LCA and original I-797 Approval Notice, if a petition was filed with USCIS;
- O-1: valid USCIS issued I-797 Approval Notice;
- present a copy of your most recent, unexpired I-94;
- carry a passport valid at least six months into the future, and;
- have a previously-issued nonimmigrant visa (which could be expired, or even in a different category than the I-94 if a change of status has been approved in the US).
- applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
- applied for a new visa and were denied;
- have been outside of the United States for more than 30 days;
- traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
- are a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. (Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs), or;
- are in possession of a J-1 exchange visitor visa and have traveled to Cuba.
Note: Citizens of some countries may need a visa to enter Canada, Mexico or the adjacent Caribbean islands. Please check to see if citizens of your home country are required to have a visa stamp (e.g., a Canadian tourist visa) to enter an adjacent country.