The holiday season is one that brings families together and is a time to refresh. If you are studying in the U.S. and want to return home to be with your loved ones, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right documents and correspondence. Here are some tips for international travel during the holiday season.

  • Get approval for international travel before you make travel plans.

Let your DSO (designated school official) know your travel plans before your flights are book. Once you have approval, then you can book your plans.

  • Make sure I-20 is up-to-date and endorsed for travel

Check to make sure the I-20 form has not had any revisions since you first obtained the form. To approve, or endorse, your travel, the DSO will sign your I-20 form

  • Share Travel Plans

Once your trip is booked, share the details of your travel itinerary (the dates and times) with your DSO.

  • Communicate any changes to original travel plans

If there are changes in your plans, share those changes with your the DSO immediately.

  • Keep paper copies of DSO/school contact information, I-20, and copy of visa and main page of passport in case of loss/theft.

These items help to make re-entry easy and prevent delays.
If you do not have the correct documentation, you could either not be able to leave the U.S., or you could have a difficulty time re-entering the country. If you have any questions, contact your DSO and they will be happy to help you!