Office of International Programs (OIP)


Check the travel signature on your I-20. You must have your I-20 with you when you travel, even for travel within the United States. The travel signature from an OIP advisor on page three should be no more than 6 months old from the date you will return to SF State.

Note: You should travel using your most recently issued I-20. However, be sure to save all of your previously issued I-20s, as they represent immigration "history" in the US.

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Check the expiration date of your passport. You must have your passport with you for all travel, including travel within the United States. If traveling abroad, your passport MUST be valid at least six months into the future upon your return to the United States.

Passports may be renewed at your country's embassy or consulate in the United States. If you have access to the World Wide Web, you can obtain up-to-date information on passport renewal. Point your web browser to:

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F1 Visa

Check your US visa stamp inside your passport. Has your visa stamp expired? If it is still valid, is it for multiple entry, or has the entry been used up? Finally, is the category for which the visa was issued the status you currently hold (for example, if your visa is F-2, are you currently in F-2 status or did that status change after you entered the United States).

An expired US visa need only be renewed if you will be traveling outside the United States. The exception is travel to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands of North America. See Automatic Revalidation.

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Visas for other countries

Check your travel itinerary. If you are traveling to a country that is not your country of citizenship, find out if you need an entry visa to visit that country.

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SF State student ID card and health insurance ID

Carry your current SF State student ID card and health insurance card with you. You will need your ID card if you need to visit a health care provider for an illness or accident, either locally or away.

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Students on OPT

If you have completed your studies and have applied for OPT, see the Overseas Travel section on the OPT information page

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Carrying U.S. or Foreign Currency

Sometimes, a student carries a large amount of money into or out of the United States. Please remember that it is a federal law that anyone carrying more than $10,000 in a monetary instrument of any form must declare that money, or risk having it seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Here is the explanation of the law:
"There is no limit on the total amount of monetary instruments that may be brought into or taken out of the United States, nor is it illegal to do so. However, if you transport or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) more than $10,000 in negotiable monetary instruments on any occasion into or out of the United States or if you receive more than $10,000, you must file a Report of International Transportation of International Currency or Monetary Instruments (FinCen105) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection denoted in the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, 31 U.S.C. 1101, et. seq. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments. Monetary instruments include U.S. or foreign coin, currency, travelers' checks, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form."
In past years, there have been students carrying large sums of money whose funds have been seized for failure to declare. Do not let this happen to you.

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