FAQ » Returning to the U.S. in F-1 or F-2 status

Returning to the U.S. in F-1 or F-2 status

 

 

A: To return to the U.S. as a full-time student in F-1 status, you need the following documents:

  1. Valid passport;
  2. Valid F-1 visa (except Canadian citizens); and
  3. I-20 endorsed by the Foreign Student Advisor within the last 6 months. If you are in Optional Practical Training (OPT), you also need the following documents:
  4. EAD (Employment Authorization Document); and
  5. Letter from your employer confirming your practical training employment.
Sample letter:

To Whom It May Concern: This is to confirm {Employee} is employed with us as a {Job Title} at a monthly salary of $____. His employment started on {Date} and his practical training employment will end no later than {Date EAD card expires} Thank you.

To return to the U.S. in F-2 status, you need the following documents:

  1. Valid F-2 visa (except Canadian citizens);
  2. Valid passport;
  3. Copy of your spouse's I-20 endorsed by the Foreign Student Advisor within the last 6 months;
  4. Copy of your spouse's I-94;
  5. Copy of your spouse's EAD card (if spouse is in OPT); and
  6. Copy of your spouse's most recent pay-stub (if spouse is in OPT).

F-1 and F-2 status requires you to have non-immigrant intent. Thus, USCIS must be convinced upon your entry that you intend to remain in the U.S. only temporarily, and will return home upon graduating or completing practical training. Thus, if you have an H-1B petition pending with the USCIS, you should avoid traveling internationally.