Before departing the United States for your international travel, be sure to follow these steps to prepare for your return and minimize the chance of delays or difficulties at a U.S. port of entry:
- Request a travel signature on your I20 or DS-2019
- Continuing international students in F-1 or J-1 status are must have their I-20 or DS-2019 endorsed for travel if you are returning to your studies at Rutgers after your trip abroad. Each travel signature is valid for one year. New incoming students or students who have completed their studies and will not return to Rutgers do not need a travel signature.
- To request a travel signature visit the Center for Global Services at 180 College Avenue. You can leave your I-20 or DS-2019 at any time and pick it up after two business days, or come during walk in hours to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed on the spot. If you are already abroad, and need an updated travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, please contact an international student adviser at least one month before you plan to return.
- Check that your passport, visa and I20 or DS-2019 are valid and up to date
- At the time of entry to the United States, your passport must be valid for six months beyond the period of your intended stay (i.e. program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019), unless your country is exempted from this requirement.
- Review visa application information if you need to apply for a new visa before returning
- If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for 30 days or less, you may be eligible for automatic revalidation. For more information, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/automatic-revalidation.html
- Review information about preparing to enter the United States and gather all recommended documents
- If you need emergency help at an airport or other U.S. point of entry, call the Center for Global Services during office hours (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.)
- Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS (New Brunswick) Students: 848-932-7015
- Rutgers–RBHS (Newark) Students: 973-972-6138
- To reach our staff outside of business hours, call Rutgers Police at 732-932-7211 (New Brunswick) or 973-972-4491 (RBHS Newark).
- Please keep these contact details on a printed piece of paper. You may not have access to your phone if you are sent to a secondary inspection area.
If you will be conducting research outside of the United States or participating in a study abroad program, please visit our Doing Research or Study Abroad page for more information.
We understand emergencies happen and situations may arise that require you to take an unplanned break from campus or from your academic work. If an emergency requires you to travel outside of the United States, contact an academic dean or your graduate program director and an international student adviser about the situation before leaving the United States. Visit our Leave of Absence or Withdrawal and Returning to Rutgers pages to find out how this may impact your legal status and how to prepare for your return.