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Travel on OPT

Review F-1 Optional Practical Training guidelines for additional required documentation for travel while participating in OPT.

Other Recommended Documents

Proof of enrollment

Consider taking an official or unofficial transcript or certificate of enrollment to demonstrate you are a current student.

Proof of funding

Consider having funding documentation that matches what is indicated on your visa document.

Proof of SEVIS fee payment

This is a required fee paid at the start of your SEVIS program. A receipt notice is provided upon payment. If your receipt notice is lost, visit SEVP and select the “Check Payment” option to print payment confirmation.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am traveling within the U.S., do I need special permission or documentation?

No, however it is recommended you carry your passport and visa document with you whenever you travel outside the Cincinnati area. This is especially important if you will be traveling near the Mexican or Canadian border.

I forgot my travel signature. What should I do?

If you do not have a valid travel signature at the time of re-entry into the U.S., you will have trouble and may be denied entry. If you forgot your travel signature, follow these instructions:

  1. Submit a “Travel Signature” request in InterLink.

  2. Please note that you have already left the U.S. and provide your return date.

  3. ISSS will review your request and travel dates.

    • If there is sufficient time, we will issue you a new I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel. We will email the I-20 to your Miami email address. We cannot email the DS-2019 and will provide instructions on how to receive your new document through express mail.

    • If there is insufficient time, we will email you a letter asking that the U.S. Customs officer provide you with a document called an I-515. This document allows you temporary entry for up to 30 days. If you are issued an I-515, please immediately schedule an appointment with ISSS. An advisor will help you complete and submit the document to the government so that you may remain in the U.S.

Every time I enter the U.S., there are problems and the officer takes me aside for questioning. What can I do?

When an officer cannot immediately verify your ability to enter the U.S., he/she may take you to a secondary office so that they can have more time to review your documentation or record. This may happen because there are truly problems with your record or missing documentation but this may also happen in error. If this consistently happens and ISSS has verified that there are no problems with your SEVIS record or documents, you may submit a “Traveler Redress” inquiry to Customs & Border Protection. This may help.

I’m about to complete my program. Can I travel?

After you successfully complete your program, you will have a grace period during which you may travel in the U.S. For F-1 students, the grace period is 60 days. For J-1 students, the grace period is 30 days. However, if you leave the U.S. during the grace period, you may not reenter in F-1 or J-1 status.

I have F-2 or J-2 dependents. What documents do they need to carry?

In general, dependents should carry the same documentation as an F-1 or J-1 student. Dependents should also carry documents that demonstrate the F-1 or J-1 is maintaining their student status such as a transcript or certificate of enrollment.

International Students and Scholars

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Use the link below to sign up to receive emails from ISSS. Please note that if you are currently enrolled in Miami University courses as an international student or scholar, you will automatically be added to this list.

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