International students on F1 visas frequently return home during university breaks. It is crucial that they follow certain instructions so they don't require new stamping at a US Consulate abroad before returning.
Prior to travel, travelers must first ensure their US visa is valid throughout their trip and provide evidence that they have enrolled at a qualified learning institution.
How to Apply
If you want to travel to Canada from the US while studying, make sure that your visa paperwork is in order. Along with having valid identification documents and proof of financial support, a valid passport and proof of financial support, it is also important to remember that visa applications are non-refundable if denied a visa application. If you require assistance or guidance when pursuing this route, firms such as F1 Visa Advisors Inc can offer personalized guidance that increases the chances of approval.
Step one in applying for an F1 visa is completing a DS-2019 form and providing supporting documentation, such as bank statements and tax records. Furthermore, an applicant will need to pay a non-refundable visa fee. Once all required paperwork has been filed with US Embassy/Consulate locations nearby.
At your interview, you will be asked questions about your background and reasons for studying in the US, plans after graduating school and any future plans you have for yourself. Be prepared to answer these honestly and thoroughly so that the consular officer can evaluate them and decide whether you should receive a visa.
F1 visa students are permitted to work both part-time while school is in session and full-time during breaks. However, you should keep in mind that while on an F1 visa it is impossible to change to permanent residency or become a citizen; alternatively you could switch it for another type of visa provided you possess all necessary documents and support from authorities.
Before applying for an F-1 visa, a valid passport and I-20 form are both necessary. Furthermore, your I-20 or DS-2019 form requires travel signature before being returned back into the United States. To see if your country qualifies as visa exempt visit the Department of State website.
The F1 visa application process can be long and intricate, beginning with your acceptance into an SEVP-approved school. As there are different kinds of schools eligible to enroll foreign students, it's essential that your chosen one suits both your educational and career goals - you can find a list of qualified schools on Homeland Security's website. After being accepted to one, however, SEVIS registration must also take place as a requirement of enrollment in your institution of study.
Proof of financial support will also be necessary. Bank statements that demonstrate you have enough funds for tuition fees, living costs and any other related costs should suffice. In addition to bank statements showing financial security for you in the US, a sponsor who can financially back you while you study can also help; often this person will be your parent or spouse; occasionally blood relatives could even serve as sponsors - though multiple sponsors should be used so you have sufficient funding available while studying there.
Additionally, to meet INA 214(b) requirements for non-immigrant status, it must be demonstrated that you will return home after studying in the U.S. If you plan on working after graduating, separate visa may be needed.
Travel to Canada requires having a valid passport that remains valid throughout your journey, along with return tickets and enough funds to cover costs during your time there. Furthermore, I-20 or DS-2019 travel signature documents should be completed at least 30 days before leaving for OPT travel as this could mean you needing a new visa before returning home.
Students often need to travel for work or school-related purposes. To do this, their F1 visa needs to be valid; the good news is they can usually obtain both their US and Canadian visa at the same time if all documents are submitted early and in order. It's key that applications be submitted promptly so all requirements can be fulfilled efficiently and quickly.
Applying for an F1 visa requires numerous documents, such as official transcripts, bank statements and letters of recommendation. Furthermore, an interview will take place at either a US Embassy or consulate, held in English by an officer who will ask various questions related to university selection, financing education costs and post-graduation plans.
Once you have all these documents ready, it is time to begin the application process for your Canadian visa. As visa processing can be time consuming and lengthy, starting the process as early as possible is key.
Last but not least, keep in mind that your F1 visa does not necessarily correspond with your immigration status when in the United States. This could make reentering difficult if it expires while in F-1 status; CBP could consider that as evidence that you have changed.
if you have an interview for a visa, make sure you practice answers to the most frequently asked questions to ensure a confident performance at your interview. Furthermore, check the list of countries requiring a visa for Canadian citizens so you know what to expect when traveling while in F-1 status.
If you plan to travel outside the US, it is essential that you have a valid passport and visa stamp as well as all relevant financial documents. Furthermore, contact the embassy or consulate of the country you intend on visiting to find out if additional documentation may be required for entry.
Prior to leaving the US, it is prudent to contact OISS and schedule an appointment so you can ensure your student status and travel documents are valid. You should bring with you copies of both I-20 or DS-2019 with recently executed travel signatures as well as evidence of sufficient funds covering expenses while you're away from school.
Visit Canada with F1 OPT as long as you have sufficient funds. Toronto or Vancouver have some of the highest costs of living costs in Canada, so having at least CA$10,000 saved should cover most expenses during your travels.
Before traveling to Canada, be sure to review the latest travel advisories provided by Travel.StateDepartment and schedule an appointment with an international student adviser so they can review your plans and ensure all required travel documents (visa, etc) are up-to-date.
If travelling while on F1 OPT, it is advisable to carry with you a copy of your resume and evidence of employment search activity. In addition to that, bring with you either an interview invitation letter from your employer as well as proof that there will be sufficient funds available during your journey. In addition, it would also be wise to have an I-20 with recent travel signature and valid passport of at least six months validity.
Be mindful that if you leave the US on a cruise or trip abroad and your visa expires while abroad, returning on a visitor visa or through Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) could preclude you from returning as an F-1 student - potentially disrupting OPT plans and plans to study at US schools in future.