To Invite Family Members:
If you would like to invite a family member to visit you in the U.S., you can view the Invitation Letter template on our Forms and Documents page.
Temporarily Leaving the U.S.:
If you are planning on leaving the U.S. and returning to resume your program and/or employment, see specific immigration status information here.
Applications for Canadian Visas:
To determine whether you need a visitor visa please go to the government website. The link to apply for the Canadian visa is also available at that site.
Canadian Consulate General Immigration Section
550 South Hope Street, 9th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Applications for Canadian visas must be made directly to the Canadian Consulate General in Los Angeles using their online system. Visa applications should be made at least two months before departure.
Automatic Visa Revalidation: Travel without a valid U.S. visa
F & J visa holders can travel to contiguous territories with an expired visa stamp provided that their valid visa document (I-20 Form or DS-2019) has been signed by International Programs & Initiatives within a six-month period. An expired F or J visa stamp will be considered automatically revalidated for re-entry from Canada, Mexico or other contiguous territories if you:
- Are planning to re-enter the U.S. within a 30-day period
- Are re-entering the U.S. to continue in the same visa type and have maintained and intend to resume your J or F visa status
- Present a recently signed I-20 Form or Form DS-2019
- Have a valid passport, valid six months beyond your intended stay in the U.S. as stated on your visa document (i.e. I-20 or DS-2019)
- Have a valid or expired F or J visa stamp in your passport
- And have not applied for a new U.S. visa while outside the U.S.
H-1B & O-1 Visa Holders re-entering from either Canada or Mexico are allowed to enter with an expired visa stamp provided that you are re-entering within a 30-day period and have a valid passport and valid H-1B or O-1 Approval Notice (Form I-797). Canada and Mexico, however, are the ONLY two contiguous territories that allow H & O visa holders to re-enter with expired H or O visa stamps.
Contiguous Territories include Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands. Adjacent Islands are: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Islands (Anguilla, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts and The British Virgin Islands), Martinique, St. Pierre & Miquelon, Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent), as well as other British, French or Dutch Territories or Possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.
RE-ENTRY TO THE U.S. FROM CANADA, MEXICO OR OTHER CONTIGUOUS TERRITORY WITH AN EXPIRED
U.S. VISA STAMP
For more information regarding travel to contiguous territories, please go to the USCIS website. This should be ICE website. Link is correct.
General Airfare Buying Tips:
- Buy your airline tickets between Monday night and Wednesday morning. The airlines start launching the new week's discounted airfares Monday night and most of them will be fully loaded by 3 p.m. Tuesday Eastern Standard Time. Since the number of discounted tickets is limited per flight you need to shop for airfares early in the posting process.
- Avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays. Airlines make a living by understanding our habits and most people choose to fly on Fridays and Sundays to maximize vacation time. The airlines therefore apply increased surcharges on Fridays and Sundays. The best days to fly with the lowest surcharges are on Tuesdays, followed by Wednesday and Saturday.
- Twitter and Facebook are not just for young people anymore. The airlines are connecting to these developing market places and are starting to devote money and time to these social media tools. As these trends continue airlines are offering exclusive deals found nowhere else so don’t miss out on this new trend. Sign up for airline messages via all your preferred portables.
- The airlines have us by the tail when it comes to summer travel. If you can push off your travel plans to the shoulder seasons of May and September you will often find lower surcharges attached to your flights. If you must travel during peak season, which is June through Mid-August, remember to fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By doing so you can often save $20‐$60 in surcharges.
- Lastly, pack light and if possible avoid checking bags. Not only will that save you money it also has the added benefit of allowing you to be flexible with flights, making it easier for you to accept being bumped for a benefit or it lets you change flights should you need to at the last minute.
Other websites to check:
There are other websites out there that offer discounted airfare that aren’t quite as good as the student rate but definitely worth checking out: