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Travel and Re-Entry

You may use your I-20 to enter the U.S. as long as you are a continuing, full-time student and all the information on it remains the same. If you are unable to maintain full-time matriculation, or if the information on your I-20 changes, contact an advisor.

The travel signature on your Form I-20 is valid for a maximum of one year.

Be sure to meet with an Advisor if:

  1. Your travel authorization signature is more than 1 year old from when you plan to return to the U.S.
  2. Your I-20 or DS-2019 will expire while you are outside of the U.S. and you plan to return to study.
  3. Your passport has or is about to expire (passports must always be valid at least six months into the future).
  4. You want to confirm if you need a new visa.

Necessary Documents for Re-Entry to the United States for F-1 Students:

  • An unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future
  • An unexpired I-20 with a travel signature less than one year old (signed by the DSO)
    It is not unsual for a CBP officer to request a travel authorization signature more frequently than 1 year. If you are someone that is often asked a lot of questions at the border, you will want to have a travel signature every 6 months.
  • An unexpired F-1 visa stamp valid for further entries into the United States
  • Proof of full-time enrollment your most recent TCNJ transcript from the  Records and Registration Office at Green Hall 112-you can make a request in PAWS.
  • Proof of financial ability, i.e., documentation verifying your funding source as indicated in Section 8 of your I-20; this may include personal or family bank statements, affidavits of support, or copies of your fellowship or scholarship letter

“Temporary Absence” and an Absence of more than 5 months:

A “temporary absence” for the purpose of readmission with an endorsed Form I-20 is defined as an absence of 5 months or less. You will be able to re-enter the U.S. on your current I-20 as long as the travel signature is still valid, and you are continuing enrollment at TCNJ as a full time student.

Once you exceed 5 months, TCNJ will be required to issue you a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID number. You will need to submit all required documents for the new I-20, and pay the SEVIS Fee again