What is a Travel Signature?
A Travel Signature is an additional signature located on your I-20 or DS-2019 document that confirms that you are maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status and have been authorized to temporarily leave the United States while you are in your F-1 or J-1 program.
It is required on-hand upon arrival into the U.S. after returning from abroad.
Failure to have a Travel Signature on your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 document may result in you being denied entry into the U.S.
Travel Signatures are required if you are a continuing student and are planning to travel outside of the United States and return to continue your F-1 or J-1 program
- Spring/Summer/Winter break
- If you are on F-1 Post Completion OPT or J-1 Post Completion Academic Training
- Dependents traveling outside of the United States and intending to return.
A travel signature must be on your latest valid I-20 or DS-2019 document, even if you still have a valid travel signature on a previous I-20 document.
Example: If you have an I-20 with a travel signature that is still valid, but you recently changed major and received a new I-20, the NEW I-20 must have a travel signature if you wish to travel outside the US.
Travel signatures are not required if:
- the student is traveling within the United States.
- The student has graduated or is withdrawing from their program and is not planning to return to the United States.
- F-1 Student/F-2 Dependent for F-1 not on OPT: 12 months
- F-1 Student/F-2 Dependent for F-1 on OPT or STEM OPT: 6 months
- J-1 Student/J-2 Dependent: 12 months
For Dependent(s) of Students
Dependent(s) seeking a travel signature will need to have their F-1 or J-1 student file a travel request for them. Distribution of files will be to their F-1 or J-1’s email.
- When submitting a request F-1/J-1 should specify in the (Optional) Note section if their dependent(s) require a travel signature
- Approval will be directed to the F-1/J-1’s email, see the following section for the necessary information.
Following Approval for Travel Signature
Following approval of the travel signature request, students will receive an email from a member of our office or our issstaff account with a UH FileDrop link to an electronic copy of their document with DSO (For F-1) or ARO (for J-1) signature for them and/or their dependents. The FileDrop set to expire in 14 Days for your online privacy and security.
- The email will come from a hawaii . edu email account
- The subject will be: "Files are available for you at the UH FileDrop Service"
- The download link will contain "https://www.hawaii.edu/filedrop/" as part of the URL
- The documents provided must be downloaded AND saved before the expiration date.
- Students/Dependents are required to print I-20/DS-2019 documents and then sign and date the appropriate section (blue ink is recommended) and it should be on-hand when you arrive in the United States.
Planning to Study Abroad or do graduate research abroad? F-1 Students are required to submit a Student Request for "Certification of Academic Status When Enrolled at UHM While Abroad" in addition to the Travel Signature Request. The Form can be downloaded under Travel in the ISS Forms page.
To request a travel signature please go to our Travel Request Form link.
Travel Signature Request Form Fields
Details regarding the fields on the Travel Signature Request Form, the information being requested, and how it is used.
- The ISS Office will be checking this against our records to make sure they are up to date.
- The expiration date of the visa found in your passport. Canadian students will not have this. The ISS Office will be checking this against our records to make sure they are up to date.
The primary destination of your travel. If you are going to multiple locations only the primary is required.
- (Optional) Notes: Extra information related to your request that you want the ISS Office to be aware of. Common items include -
- If your travel signature request is for your dependent or both you and your dependent.
- If you need a new document because your previous I-20/DS-2019 was lost, stolen, or damaged (Please specify which).
- If you need a physical copy mailed and the address you wish it sent to. Please Note, you will receive a follow up email for more information and requests to mail documents physically will take extra time.
To re-enter into the United States, you will need:
- A valid passport (> 6 months from date of re-entry)
- A valid visa (except for Canadian students) F-1 Student Visa J-1 Student Visa
- Signed I-20 or DS-2019 form
- (For Students on OPT) Valid EAD
Note for Students on OPT: In addition to the above, OPT employment that’s reported into SEVP Portal Account as well as proof of employment, such as pay stubs, job offer letter and employment verification letter.
For your security, documents should be with you and not in any checked in luggage.