Did you depart from the U.S. without getting your I-20 or DS-2019 signed? Are you outside of New York City and need a travel signature?
Follow these three steps in order to obtain what you need for your upcoming travels.
Review your I-20 or DS-2019. The travel signature on page 3 of your most recent I-20 or on the right lower side of your DS-2019 is valid for 12 months. You may still have a valid signature. If you do not, continue to steps two and three. If your signature is still valid, the OGS recommends you also review the travel workshop, as discussed in step two. (For students on post-completion Optional Practical Training, the travel signature is only valid for six months.)
Review the on-line travel workshop to confirm what you need to re-enter the U.S.. Per the workshop guidance, you should carry a copy of your financial information and enrollment information upon re-entry to the U.S. You may secure evidence of your semester registration through the Albert system.
If you must re-enter the U.S. in less than a week, respectfully request that the officer at the port of entry allow you to enter with Form I-515A. This gives you a thirty-day admission as an F-1 or J-1 student, and requires you to report to the OGS within that time frame to secure the required travel signature.
To qualify for the I-515A form, you must have a valid passport, valid F-1 or J-1 visa, and your I-20 or DS-2019 (the officer may allow you to enter without your I-20 or DS-2019 at his/her discretion).
Request a travel I-20 or DS-2019 be issued to you by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to attach a completed FERPA request form, a scan of your passport photo page, a receipt that you have paid the express mail fee, and a scan of your EAD card if you are currently on post-completion OPT. The OGS will then generate a new I-20 or DS-2019 document and return it to you via UPS express mail. Allow for OGS standard processing time.