Travel abroad and reentry
International students and scholars may leave the U.S. for a short time period (5 months or less) and reenter to continue their program if they hold the appropriate travel documents. Those are:
If you don't have a valid U.S. visa in your passport, you must apply for a new visa before returning the the United States. In this case a new I-20 or IAP-66 form will be issued by the Graduate School for overseas visa request. This process takes 2-3 days, so be sure to request a new form in time before you leave.
If you are absent for longer than 5 months, you will need to request a new I-20 or IAP-66 form before returning to the U.S. Please contact us several weeks before you plan to return to allow enough time for processing your form and mailing it to you.
If you travel to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days, it is sufficient to have a valid IAP-66 or I-20 form endorsed for travel and an unexpired passport. You do not have to have a valid U.S. visa for reentry. This applies only for entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or adjecent island (except Cuba) after being absent for not more than 30 days.
To apply for a new visa, you must take your I-20/IAP-66 form to the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country. In certain instances it may be possible to obtain a new visa in a third country but it is generally advisable to do it in one's home country. Along with your I-20/IAP-66 form you will be required to present documentation on your funding, and the program in which you will be participating. For students the admission letter is generally acceptable, for visiting scholars or professors an invitation from the school or other program description will suffice. Further information or documentation might be required by the consulate. Please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for further information.