- Make sure your document (I-20 or DS-2019) has a current UAF International Programs & Initiatives (OIPI) travel authorization signature. The signature must be dated within 6 months of your anticipated re-entry into the U.S.
- Valid visa and passport:
- Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in the U.S. If your passport will be expiring before your program completion, you should apply for a renewal so that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. and remain in status for the remainder of your stay.
- If your visa has expired, apply for and obtain a new visa to re-enter the U.S.
- If your field of study or research is in a technology-related field, it may be requested that you provide additional information during your visa appointment.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection - returning to the U.S.
Before leaving the USCBP officer, check to be sure your passport was stamped and annotated correctly (immigration status and D/S for F-1 and J-1 students and J-1 scholars and all dependents; the authorization end date for those in H-1B status and their related dependents). It is very difficult to have errors corrected after you leave the U.S. port of entry. It is possible that you could be required to leave the U.S. and re-enter in the correct status before being able to resume your academic program or employment.
Special note for Canadians: If you have a NEXUS card, do NOT use it. You will not enter in the correct immigration status and will need to leave the U.S. and re-enter. Also, do NOT use the NEXUS line, even if it is substantially shorter. Again, you will not be granted the correct U.S. immigration status.
On your return to Fairbanks please provide UAF International Programs & Initiatives copies of:
- Digital I-94 Arrival/Departure record via https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/;
- The I-20 or DS2019 IF they were stamped by U.S. immigration officials;
- Your passport identification page IF you obtained a new passport;
- Passport page showing the arrival stamp;
- The visa page IF you obtained a new visa;
- H-1B's RETURN original immigration form I-797 Approval Notice;
- Update your Glacier with your travel dates.
Click this link to the Department of Homeland Security for the latest information on entering and leaving the United States.
Travel upon completion of your UAF sponsored program
J-1 exchange students may remain in the United States for a period of 30 days after their program completion end date; F-1 students for 60 days. This is referred to as the grace period following program completion. There is no grace period following conclusion of the H-1B or TN authorizations. Individuals wishing to return to the U.S. after the authorized grace period or program completion may consider entry in the B-visa category or use of visa waiver if you are from a visa waiver eligible country.
Entry into the U.S. in the B- visa category may be accomplished by obtaining the appropriate B- visa from U.S. embassies or consulates or under the visa waiver program. Information about the visa waiver program and a listing of participating countries may be obtained on the Travel Government website.
Individuals returning to the U.S. under provisions of the visa waiver for pleasure/tourism must pre-register via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), an automated system that assists in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It is recommended that travelers register a minimum of 72 hours in advance of travel however it is possible to register any time prior to departure for the United States. Information is available on the ESTA website. ESTA factsheets are also available in 11 different languages.