Travel Signatures and Passport Renewal

A travel signature is relevant only to F-1 students or J-1 students or scholars (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.

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Application Alert


Beginning 9AM Friday, March 10 through 11 AM Monday, March 13, you will not to be able to submit or upload any ISSO applications (including this one) as we conduct our Compass database migration. Do not worry, you will be able to submit applications again starting 12:00 PM Monday, March 13. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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On-Campus Travel Signatures

An ISSO advisor will be available on-campus for travel signatures on March 8th and May 5th. Visit the event page to find details including the documents you should bring and location.

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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 than to mail your current document back and forth. You should keep all copies of your I-20s/DS-2019s but travel with the most recently issued one.

Use our upload form to upload the documents below as a single PDF file for processing. When completing the upload form, please select the "REPRINT" option under "Please select your request."

On-Campus Travel Signatures

An ISSO advisor will be available on-campus for travel signatures on March 8th and May 5th. Visit the event page to find details including the documents you should bring and location.

If you prefer to have it sent by FedEx, domestically or internationally, please follow these directions for UEMS shipping and provide your order number

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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.