Required Documents

  • Passport (should be valid for at least six months into the future)
  • F, J, H or other non-immigrant visa stamp in your passport should be valid for travel and return into the U.S.
  • Original immigration documents, including your I–20 (for F visa holders) or your DS–2019 (for J visa holders), signed for authorized travel by an International Student Services international student advisor
  • I–94 Form
  • An original I–797A Form (Approval Notice), if you are an H-1B, H-4, E-2, L-2, or other non-immigrant visa holder
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD card), if you are an F–1 student approved for Optional Practical Training
  • Letter from your employer, which confirms your current employment if you are on OPT, or if you are an H-1B or TN visa holder

Optional Documents

  • Good standing letter if you are an F-1 or J visa student
  • Proof of financial support (scholarship letter, teaching assistantship letter, bank statement, etc.)

General recommendations

  • Carry all documents with you; do not put them in luggage that will be checked or that will not be in your possession at all times
  • Be able to talk about your education or work goals, UTSA and your plans for work after your return to your home country
  • Make arrangements with someone whom you can contact to take care of your local affairs (apartment, pets, notifying your employer, etc.), if you experience delay while traveling outside of the US. Make sure you have our e-mail address and telephone number

At the border:

Your I-94 card: Give this to the border or airline officials. When you return, you receive a new I-94. Make sure the notations about visa type and duration of stay are correct!

When you cross the border:

  • Have your passport, visa and I-20 or DS-2019 ready for the immigration officer
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Your I-94 will be stamped. It will note your immigration status and duration of status
  • The officer may take your fingerprints and a photo

If you have problems:

  • Ask the border officer or immigration official to call the Office of International Programs at 210-458-7202. Nights and weekends, call the UTSA police at 210-458-4242 and ask for assistance in contacting an international student adviser.
  • Ask the border officer for an I-515. This is a document that allows you to stay in the U.S. for 30 days. If you receive an I-515, make an appointment with the Office of International Programs immediately.