Travel Signatures and Passport Renewal (F and J Students)

A travel signature is relevant only to F-1 students or J-1 students (and their dependents) who are planning to travel abroad and return to the U.S. in F or J status. You must have an unexpired travel signature on the date you re-enter the U.S.

Plane in Flight
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Length of Validity of Your Travel Signature

A travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 is valid for 12 months or until the program end date on the I-20, whichever comes first.

A travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 is valid for 6 months or until the expiration date of the EAD, whichever comes first.

A travel signature on page one on your DS-2019 is valid for 12 months or until the end date on your DS-2019, whichever is earlier.

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How to Obtain a Travel Signature at Columbia

If you're currently at Columbia, come to us a few weeks before you travel (during walk-in hours) with:

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How to Obtain a Travel Signature If You Can't Come In Person

If you can’t come in person, it is easier for us to print a new I-20 or DS-2019 for you with an updated signature. You should keep all copies of your I-20s/DS-2019s but travel with the most recently issued one.

Step 1.

Gather your documents

Step 2.

Email your documents

Send us your supporting documents as one single pdf:

Not sure of your campus? Check our campus school list.

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What To Do If You Have a Problem Accessing Your I-94 Record

Are you having a problem retrieving your I-94 arrival record online? You may call the immigration office at either JFK or Newark airport (regardless of where you arrived) to speak with an inspector. They can usually locate the record and make a correction to your record, if needed, while you're on the phone, so you can access and print the record.

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How to Renew Your Passport

In general, your passport should be kept unexpired for at least 6 months into the future at all times-- and 6 months from the date you will enter the United States. If, however, your country of citizenship is on this list, you may enter the U.S. using your passport until its actual expiration date.

Contact your Consulate in New York City or embassy in Washington D.C. several months before your passport's expiration date to learn what you must do to renew it.