BRING THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS WITH YOU
- A valid passport at the time of re-entering the United States – Renew your passport through your consulate or embassy if needed (U.S. law requires passports from many countries to be renewed 6 months before the expiration date).
- A valid U.S. visa at the time of re-entering the United States. If you are returning from Canada or Mexico, you are allowed to reenter the United States with an expired visa provided that 1) your absence did not exceed 30 days 2) you are not a citizen of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba.
- A valid I-20 with a signature from Aaron Colhapp, ISP Director; Luyen Phan, ISP Assistant Director; Kara Warren, ISP Coordinator; or Bruce Gawtry, ISP Immigration Specialist.
Other recommended documentation:
- Letter of good academic standing
- Financial support letters
GET YOUR I-20 SIGNED
Stop by ISP and get your I-20 signed EVERY TIME before you leave the country by Aaron, Luyen, Kara, or Bruce. If you leave for longer than 5 months and do not continue enrollment at Macalester (i.e., you take a leave of absence), you must have a new I-20 issued in order to re-enter the U.S.
CHECK YOUR VISA REQUIREMENTS
Many countries require visitors to obtain visas before they enter. A visa, however, is not a guarantee of entry as the immigration official at arrival has the right to refuse entry. Visas are issued by consular offices of a government. A processing fee is usually required when you apply for a visa.
If your U.S. visa has expired and you want to visit Canada, Mexico, or other adjacent islands except Cuba, please read the Automatic Extension Visa Validity Law and bring it along with you, since many officials are not aware of it. Further information can be found at the U.S. Department of State website.
- Automatic Revalidation does not apply to students from states that sponsor terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan).
- Automatic Revalidation also does not apply if any student has applied for a non-immigrant visa in Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands during their trip.
Many countries require documentation of a clean criminal record before you are allowed to enter the country. You can obtain your United States criminal record by visiting the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension office in downtown St. Paul. More information can be find at their website.
- All foreign visitors, regardless of their nationality, who travel to Mexico for tourism, business or in transit to another destination and have a valid visa issued by the government of the United States of America, are exempt from requiring a Mexican visa. Consult this link for more info.
If you are traveling to a European country that requires a Schengen Visa, general information can be found at this link and a list of common documents and requirements can be found here. Please note that the embassy or consulate you are visiting is the best source of information on visa requirements since they vary according to nationality of passport holder, countries visited, and length and purpose of stay.
Because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, your student visa allows you to travel there.
DO YOU NEED A TRANSIT VISA?
A transit visa is a short term visa granted to travelers who are passing through (but not staying in) a country. Some countries require transit visas or documents even for a short layover in an airport of that country. It is always a good idea to check the visa restrictions for any country you may have a layover (stopover) in before purchasing your plane tickets.
Canada and the United Kingdom are two countries which commonly require some form of transit documentation or prior approval.
- Check to see if you need a visa to pass through Canada in transit
- Check to see if you need a visa to pass through the UK in transit
*Canada and the UK are not the only countries that require transit visas, but they are only common examples. Be sure to check the regulations regarding any and all countries you may transit through on your travels*