What Should You Take If Traveling Internationally on F-1 OPT?


You’ve graduated from your Bachelor’s/Master’s/Doctoral degree program and are working on your OPT EAD and now need to travel abroad. So you’re wondering what should you take with you.

What to take when traveling internationally on F-1 visa while working on OPT EAD:

  • Your valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)
  • Your passport (valid for at least 6 months after your planned re-entry into the U.S.)
  • Your valid, unexpired F-1 visa stamp (if this is in an expired passport, bring both expired and unexpired passport with you)
  • Most recent I-20 with a travel signature signed within the last six months (original).
  • Employment verification letter (original or color photocopy) from your current OPT employer stating:
    • Job title
    • Work location
    • How much and how often you are paid (hourly, bi-weekly, etc.)
    • Note: Letter should be on company letterhead and signed by an authorized signatory of the company.

Is there anything else I need to consider when traveling internationally on F-1 visa?

I’m glad you asked. Yes, there is.

  • Ensure that you are not otherwise inadmissible to the U.S., i.e. commission of a crime;
  • Ensure that you will not be outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months;
  • Ensure that you are coming back to resume employment.

If you are unsure that you will be able to ensure any of the above conditions, you should speak with an immigration attorney, as this could affect your re-entry into the U.S. in F-1 status.

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