Travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean
If you are an F-1 or J-1 student / scholar, traveling to a contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico) or the adjacent islands of the Caribbean (see below), you do NOT need to obtain a new visa stamp to reenter the U.S. To qualify for this privilege, you must:
- Presently be in valid F-1 or J-1 student / scholar status.
- Have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 in your possession, which has been signed for travel
- Have unexpired I-94 record with you (do NOT surrender it when you leave the U.S.)
- Have an unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future
- Have a previously-issued nonimmigrant visa (even for a different nonimmigrant classification)
- Be in one of the contiguous territories or adjacent islands for less than thirty (30) days. The adjacent islands are: the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Pierre & Miquelon, Trinidad & Tobago, the Leeward Islands (Anguilla, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, and the British Virgin Islands), the Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent), and other British, French, or Dutch territories or possessions in, or bordering on, the Caribbean Sea.
*NOTE: The special exemptions do NOT apply to students who are citizens of the countries named above and traveling to their home countries. In those cases, students must obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa to re-enter the U.S., except for Canadians. Please note that it is more difficult to apply for a U.S. visa while in one of these countries.