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 unless you meet any one of the following criteria, 8 CFR 214.1(b)(3) mandates that you cannot automatically revalidate your visa:
- You applied for a new visa, and DoS has not issued it.
- You applied for a new visa, and DoS denied it.
- You have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status.
- You have been out the United States for more than thirty days.
- You are a citizen of one of the following countries:
- North Korea
- A valid I-20 with a signature from ISP professional staff who are Designated School Officials (DSO): Aaron Colhapp, Britt Nelson, Luyen Phan, Molly Rochon.
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, Britt, Luyen, or Molly. 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 and may takes months. 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 or Automatic Revalidation and bring it along with you, since many officials are not aware of it. Additional details on Automatic Revalidation can be found at the US Dept of State site. Further information about re-entry into the U.S. can be found at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) travel re-entry page.
- Automatic Revalidation does not apply to students from states that sponsor terrorism (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria).
- 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 Minnesota criminal history record by visiting the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension website and their office in downtown St. Paul.
Canada (Click to read more)
Mexico (Click to read more)
- 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. Visit the Mexican Consulate St Paul website for more information.
United Kingdom (Click to read more)
European Union (Click to read more)
If you are traveling to a European country that requires a Schengen Visa, general information can be found at Schengen Visa website and a list of common documents and requirements can be found on their visa application requirements page..
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.
Puerto Rico (Click to read more)
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 travellers 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*
Helpful Travel Links
- AirBnB and HostelWorld (accommodations)
- Amtrak (trains, nationally)
- GoogleFlights (efficient way to compare airline prices)
- Greyhound and Megabus (buses)
- ITA Matrix (cheapest airfare search)
- MSP International Airport
- Saint Paul Travel Clinic (vaccinations)
- U.S. State Department (travel advisories)