International Travel

International students with F and J visas should be sure to check in with International Student Services before leaving the United States.

Travel at a glance:

  • Request a travel signature before leaving the U.S.
    • Request signature 1-2 weeks prior to travel
  • Travel signatures are valid for one year, but CBP recommends you to receive a fresh signature prior to each international travel
  • Check your visa expiration and make plans for visa renewal if necessary.
  • Graduates who may not re-enter the US while on their grace period.

Renewing Visa

If your visa has expired, you will need to renew your visa while you are outside of the United States. Unfortunately, there is not an option for visa renewal from within the U.S, but you may renew your visa anywhere outside the U.S, not just your home country. On the Travel Signature Request Form, you can indicate whether you need a visa renewal letter. An international student advisor will give you a letter verifying your academic progress to assist you at the consulate. Visa denials are rare, but must be considered when making plans to travel outside the country.

We recommend that you bring the following to your visa interview.

  • Transcript verifying academic progress up-to-date
  • Proof of registration for the current or following semester, as applicable
  • I-20 signed for travel
  • Optional- Visa renewal letter from International Student Services

Re-Entry into the United States

Upon re-entry we advise you to bring a copy of the following:

  • I-20 signed for travel
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months in the future with unexpired visa
  • Proof of registration for the current or following semester, as applicable
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt, available at
  • Recommended- Copy of transcript

Additional information for port of entry:

  • For an emergency at port-of-entry, call UALR Public Safety. They will transfer you to an international advisor if needed: 501-569-3400
  • If the border patrol issues you any documentation (I-515) be sure to bring it to ISS at your earliest convenience so we can respond
  • The I-94 is now electronic. You will not receive an I-94 at the port-of-entry

Upon return check in with International Student Services only if you received:

  • A new visa
  • A new SEVIS record
  • An I-515 at the port-of-entry

Learn more about international travel while on OPT.

Learn more about travel when transferring to a new university.