All international students, Exchange Visitors, and their dependents who were issued an immigration document by CSU are required to get a travel signature by an International Advisor before they travel outside of the US. Travel signatures are valid for 12 months for active students and 6 months for students using their OPT authorization.
Failure to have a travel signature can result in complications such as receiving an I-515 or being denied entry to the US.
Keep a copy of the ISSS Travel Card for your records while you travel.
How to Get a Travel Signature
I-20 Travel Signatures
Please email our office if you need an updated I-20 with a travel signature. We are currently able to email I-20s, so travel signature requests can be fulfilled relatively quickly, though we cannot guarantee same-day turnaround. If you are on OPT, you can request your I-20 through the OPT Reporting eForm or you can email your request to our office’s main account.
Please provide yourself enough time before you travel to request your updated document to allow for our office’s processing time. Average processing time for travel signatures can be 2-3 business days.
DS-2019 Travel Signatures
Unfortunately, our office is unable to email DS-2019s. If you have a J Visa and need a travel signature on your DS-2019, please setup an appointment with an advisor.
Note: Processing times may be longer than usual for requests submitted near the start of the semester or around holidays.
Holiday Hours and Busy Seasons
Please be advised that our office is busiest at the beginning of each semester and around the holidays. Please plan ahead and provide yourself at least 7-10 business days before you travel to get your travel signature so that you have it before you leave.
What to do if You Left the US Without a Travel Signature
Please send us an email to let us know about your situation and that you will need an updated document created and a travel signature provided.
Our office will email you the updated document to whatever email address you have listed in your immigration record which is typically your CSU email address. You will need to make sure you can print your new I-20 on a color printer before you travel to ensure that our blue signatures print as blue.
Required Documents to Travel
- A valid I-20 with a travel signature
- Passport that is valid for more than 6 months upon your return to the US
- A valid visa
- If on OPT:
- Required – Your current EAD card
- Optional – A letter from your employer confirming your employment and approved vacation days
Scholar Travel Information
Please consider how filing an I-140 immigrant petition may affect your ability to re-enter the U.S. in your current status before travel.
J-1 scholars should get a travel signature before traveling out of the U.S. Please plan to meet with an immigration advisor in person to have your DS-2019 endorsed for travel.
H-1 B Scholars
H-1B scholars traveling out of the U.S. for the first time since changing status to H-1B should plan on scheduling a visa appointment. Traveler should carry original H-1B approval notice, a copy of the petition, and recent pay statements.
TN Status Holders
Individuals in TN status should consider whether they need to extend their I-94 upon re-entry. Traveler should carry a copy of your employment letter and an updated letter from host department confirming the TN occupation in which you work.
Out of Country
Students and scholars who will be leaving the US to study or perform research abroad need to complete an Out of Country Request and make sure that their immigration document has a valid travel signature for their scheduled return.
The Departure eForm is not intended for temporary travel. The Departure eForm informs our office that you no longer need your immigration record at CSU which can result in its completion, deactivation, or termination. Please review the Departure eForm page for more information.