When traveling inside the U.S., it is always advised that students and scholars carry a passport and I-20/DS-2019 with them. If asked for identification, these are the most helpful documents you can have. Of course, keep them in a safe place and make sure to have copies of these in case documents are lost or stolen.
Check the travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. Each signature is valid for one calendar year (except those on OPT who need a signature every six months). You must have your I-20 or DS-2019 with you even for travel within the U.S. Make sure to carry all I-20s or DS-2019s with you. Never throw any away—these documents show the “history” of your time in the U.S. and are required for changing status or applying for work permits. Allow two to three days for a renewed signature from the Office of International Education (OIE).
What Students Can Expect at the Port of Entry:
When to Contact the OIE About Travel Plans
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Hotels and Hostels
Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline
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