Last Updated on March 1, 2013
All students who wish to leave the U.S. must obtain an endorsed Form I-20ID from a designated school official each time the student leaves the U.S. The school’s endorsement proves that the student is still in school and making satisfactory progress under the approved educational program.
Students who try to enter the U.S. with a student visa but without an endorsed I-20ID risk denial of entry. At a minimum they must convince the INS at the port of entry of their intentions to maintain an approved course of study.
Students may travel without a visa, provided they have a valid I-94 and an endorsed I-20ID to Canada or Mexico for up to 30 days. All other overseas destinations require a visa. This means that the student who obtained student status in the U.S. must ultimately return home to obtain a visa if they want to leave North America and re-enter.