Travel Home country from US on F1 visa

F1 Students traveling to home country from US – Procedures at School?

In F1 Visa by KumarUpdated : 99 Comments

Travel Home country from US on F1 visaI remember traveling to my home country,  India,  first time as student on F1 visa after a year and half since I landed in US. It is very important to plan well and do the required procedures at school for you to come back or enter US without any issues. It is not very complex, but here are few things to do.

Appointment with International advisor or DSO and get new I20

You should get an appointment with your designated school officer(DSO), who is typically International advisor, and tell them that you are going to your home country for vacation during break. You will tell them why you are going home and when you will come back approximately. Sometimes, students take a semester break for a variety of reasons could be health issues or family emergency, etc. You should make sure you get the following from the advisor

  • New I20. It typically looks the same, but there will not be any stamp. Your new I20 will be stamped at port of entry when you re-enter US after break.
  • Letter indicating that you are enrolled full time and going to your home country for break.  This letter is just a proof. Think of it like an employment letter stating that you are currently employed. The advisers know this stuff.

International students office(ISO):

You may not have to do this at all schools. But, if you need a ride back from airport and your ISO office does this, you would have to inform international students office and tell them about your trip for pick up from airport.

Apply for Teaching Assistantships

If you intend to apply for TA position, you would have to fill in the application before you leave. The deadlines are typically around registration. This is just to make sure you do not miss the deadline for TA application.

Register for Classes for next semester :

Registration for classes for next semester is key thing to do. You never know if you will have time at your home to do all this stuff. You better pick the classes and register before you leave for vacation.

Did  I miss anything or do you have anything to add ?

References :


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Comments ( 99 )

  1. Susmitha

    Hello sir,

    I’m on F1 visa and doing my 3rd semester currently and I came to India for one month on a emergency and suddenly got health issues. Can I stay for one more month in India? As I took i20 and also took permission from lecturer to submit assignments on time. It urgent please reply me asap.

    1. administrator

      You need to discuss with your DSO and work it out so that you have relevant documentation. If your DSO says yes, then you can.

  2. Kavya


    Anyone please help.
    My stem OPT ending on january 29 2020. I am planning to go to Indian in september and to come back by october 15. I am a fulltime employee and planning to join PHD in day 1 cpt in january.

    Can anyone suggest me is it safe to travel when you have 3 months for your EAD expiration and if needed can I talk about my PHD admission in immigration?

    1. administrator

      Traveling during OPT period has it risks and they are more, if you are engaged in Day 1 CPT as that program is abused by many… PhD purpose is different from Day 1 CPT, so you need to be clear on that…

        1. administrator

          Yes, it can be risky…they can ask you have almost completed your practical training, why travel to US now…etc.

  3. Hamza

    I have a question about f1 visa is that I have a emergency in home and want to go back my country in jan but I don’t want to take fall semester because of emergency and skip this semester but I want to take spring semester and continue my study so tell me what should I do?

  4. Raj

    I went to US on f1 visa in Jan which i got for 5 years and came back in march because of personal and health issues. Now i am good and want to get back to my studies. I am married. Need suggestions of 2 questions

    1] should I need to re-appear for any visa interview?
    2] My wife f2 visa is rejected when i am in USA. Will i be getting dependent i20 before going to usa so that she will also attend f2 visa. where we both can travel at a time?

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