Travel to Other Countries
Other countries may require a visa and/or immunizations to enter their country. Before your departure, contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country(ies) you plan to visit; contact information is either in the San Francisco phone directory or on the Web. Some consulates are located out of the area, so plan ahead.
Travel Delays: Students traveling outside of the U.S. should be aware of possible delays in reentering the United States. National security concerns have occasionally led to long delays in returning to the U.S. for some students and scholars doing research in sensitive areas.
Documents Needed to Re-enter the United States
Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon entry or re-entry to the U.S.
Valid U.S. Entry VISA in your Passport
The visa stamp in your passport should be valid on the date of your return to the U.S. (It does not, however, need to remain valid during your stay in the U.S.) If you have an old, expired passport with a valid U.S. entry visa, you do not need to get a new visa stamp in your new passport as long as you carry both passports when you enter the U.S. Canadian citizens do not need a U.S. visa. Canadian landed immigrants, however, are required to obtain U.S. entry visas.
If you need to renew or apply for a U.S. entry visa, expect delays. Plan ahead, as this may take longer than in the past. Because most visa applicants are now required to appear for a personal interview, you should expect processing delays. In addition, "administrative processing " which is typically typically resolved within 60 days, but can take longer in some cases. More information about administrative processing can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/a_zindex/a_zindex_4353.html.
SISS recommends you speak to an advisor before you plan your travel or apply for a new visa.
Check the U.S. Department of State's website http://usembassy.state.gov/ for the standard visa procedures at each U.S. consulate or embassy. YOU CANNOT OBTAIN A U.S. ENTRY VISA INSIDE THE U.S. Those in H-1B or O-1 status see the instructions below on obtaining appropriate documents needed to apply for the visa.
F-1/F-2, J-1/J-2 documents: If you will renew/apply for a U.S. entry visa, see the important information above. Those who are re-entering the U.S. must make sure their Form I-20 or DS-2019 has been signed for travel within six months of your intended re-entry date by a SISS advisor.
- J-1 scholars will need to complete the J-1 Scholar DS-2019 Travel Signature Request Form and bring it to SISS.
- J-1 non-degree students (except EAP students) will need to complete the J-1 Non-Degree Student DS-2019 Travel Signature Request Form and bring it to SISS.
Additional letter for J-1 Scholars on extended trips
J-1 Scholars who are traveling outside of the U.S. for more than 30 days should carry a letter from their host professor. The letter should state that your absense is approved and that you will continue your research or teaching when you return. The letter should also include the dates of your travel.
Evidence of Financial Support
SISS strongly recommends that F/J non-immigrants carry proof of the financial support and resources reflected on their visa documents -- the Form I-20 or DS-2019.
Additional Information for Students
- Proof of current registration (you can download a copy of your registration from SISWEB). Non-registered students should obtain verification of their current academic standing from their department. If you are planning to renew your visa you should have an official copy of your transcript, which can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.
- Letter of Certification from the Registrar’s Office, Room 12 Mrak Hall or http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/html/certification.html.
- Be prepared to discuss ties to your home country (Section 214(b)), and your long-term plans after your graduation at your visa interview.
- Students on OPT should also bring the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card and a letter from their current or anticipated employer. Students on OPT should see their SISS Advisor for more details
- State Department's information on student visas.
UC Davis H-1B, TN and O-1 travel documents: In order to receive the appropriate travel documents and instructions, contact SISS by email at email@example.com at least five working days before you travel.
Consult with a SISS Advisor
In the following cases, consult with a SISS advisor at least two weeks before departure:
Consular Post Processing Times
The Department of State is now providing consular post processing times on-line to assist visa applicants plan for visa processing delays abroad.
The Department of State website provides visa applicants with an average wait time to obtain a visa interview (which is now required for all H, O, J, F applicants) and the average wait time for a nonimmigrant visa to be processed at individual consular posts.
These are estimates only and government processing times are always subject to change. Planning ahead and applying as early as possible is always recommended.
In addition to checking processing times, all visa applicants should thoroughly review the visa instructions and procedures at the specific post where he or she will be applying.
We recommend that you contact SISS prior to any internationl travel.