December - Remember SANTA While Traveling this Christmas
During the holiday season, many international students will be traveling outside of the United States and returning home. To ensure that you have an uninterrupted traveling experience, remember to consider SANTA, (from the SEVIS and Exchange Visitor Program Broadcast Message 1111-06):
Sign the Form I-20.
- A nonimmigrant student should travel with a valid, signed Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.
Apply for passport or visa renewal in the student's home country, if necessary.
- If you have either an expired passport or one that will expire within six months, you should apply for a renewal while at home. If you hold an expired visa, you must apply for renewal prior to re-entering the U.S. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to make an appointment once you know your travel dates. A student traveling on expired or soon-to-expire documents may have trouble when seeking re-entry into the United States. A student traveling to a third country should check the visa requirements for that country before travel.
Note that an employed student should bring an employment letter and Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, (EAD) when traveling.
- If you are traveling while authorized for off-campus employment, you will need to travel with a valid EAD and a letter from the employer verifying employment. This will assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection in verifying your information upon re-entry.
Travel with all required documents.
- As a nonimmigrant F-1 student, you should travel with all required documents but should never place those documents in checked luggage. The required documents include at least the following: a valid, signed Form I-20; a valid passport (good for more than six months, unless otherwise exempt); a valid nonimmigrant visa, if required; and financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses. Failure to have all required documents may jeopardize your ability to re-enter the United States.
Assign an emergency phone number.
- In the event of an emergency while traveling, please contact the Bellevue University Evening Administrator on duty at 402-557-5000. He or she will be able to connect you with a Designated School Official from International Programs.
By traveling with SANTA, international students will have an uneventful re-entry and travel experience.
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