Travel Information

Know Before You Go

We want you to have a safe and worry-free trip! Here are some tips for international students traveling outside the US since the Executive Orders on immigration have been issued. Please see our Executive Orders page for a full list of updates.

In order to travel outside of the US you need the following documents:

F-1 Students

  • I-20 Form (signed by ISSS advisor)
  • Valid F-1 visa 

J-1 Students

  • DS-2019 Form (signed by ISSS advisor)
  • Valid J-1 visa

All International Students 

  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • I-94 Form
  • Unofficial Transcripts

In addition to the above documentation it is advisable to bring your evidence of financial support, such as a bank statement or scholarship letter.


Obtaining a Travel Signature

It is essential that you obtain a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 form from an ISSS advisor before traveling outside the US! Please be aware that it takes from 3 – 5 days to obtain a travel signature, so it is important for you to plan ahead. To request a travel signature, submit your request via WorldLink.  For step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to request a Travel Signature, click here

Travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean for Less than 30 Days

If you visit Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean for fewer than 30 days a valid F-1, J-1, or J-2 visa is not required for most individuals, as long as you have a valid I-94.

  • You should not surrender your I-94 card upon entry to these countries if you intend to visit for fewer than 30 days with an expired visa.
  • When using this option do NOT attempt to reapply for a visa while in Canada.
  • For more information on returning to the United States after a visit to Canada with an expired US visa, please see the US Government website here:

To find out if you need a visa to visit Canada, please click here:

If you need a visa to enter Canada or if you do not know if you need a visa to enter Canada, please visit the Canada Consulte in Los Angeles website here:


Canadian Students

Canadian students do not require a visa to enter the US. However, they are still considered international students and must have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 when re-entering the US.


Canadian and Mexican Embassies

The embassies nearest PSU for Canada and Mexico are:

Canadian Consulate

Mexican Consulate

Traveling while on OPT

Below is the list of documents we tell all students carry with them if they travel outside the US while on OPT. Note that the travel signature on your I-20 cannot be more than 6 months old


  • Passport that is valid for six months into the future.
  • Your I-20 with a current travel signature. The date on the travel signature should be no more than 6 months old as of the date that you are re-entering the U.S.
  • Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD, also commonly referred to as an “OPT card”)
  •  A letter from your employer with the following information: name of company address and telephone number of company (if you will be working at a location other than the company headquarters, your specific physical work location should be noted) your position title a brief explanation of your job duties (which, of course, should be directly related to your academic major) the date you started or are expected to start the position your salary/compensation/benefits details your supervisor’s name and contact information


Dependents or Visiting Relatives

A DS-2019 or I-20 may be issued for your legal spouse or minor children to apply for a J-2 or F-2 visa to travel to the United States. You must first provide financial documentation that shows their full support during their stay. You can request to 'Add A New Dependent' in WorldLink.

If a J-1 student will be away from Portland State University for more than 30 days it is advised that any J-2 family members depart with the J-1 student.