You will need the following items if you are traveling outside the U.S. and plan to re-enter:
Passport, valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return to the U.S. (with these exceptions).
F-1 or J-1 visa, unexpired with at least one remaining entry (except citizens of Canada and Bermuda).
Form I-20/DS-2019 endorsed for travel within the past year (if you are participating in post-completion OPT, the travel endorsement must be no older than 6 months at the time of re-entry)
SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt: print your receipt.
Evidence of enrollment: a current transcript obtained from the registrar.
Current financial documentation (bank statement, assistantship award letter, etc.): Although not required, such documents may be requested by a U.S. Citizenship and Border Protection officer at the airport.
If you are participating in post-completion OPT or AT, you will also need:
Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) showing the approved dates of your OPT or AT authorization. (The "not valid for re-entry" notation on the card simply means that the card alone is insufficient. It must be accompanied by the other items on this list.)
A letter from your employer (or the supervisor of your unpaid volunteer position) on official letterhead and signed by your supervisor stating that you will be returning to the U.S. to resume your training with the organization.
Upon your return to the U.S., you should upload any new immigration documents to ISSS Link.
If you are visiting or traveling through any country other than the one that issued your passport, you may need a visitor’s visa. See the embassy website for that country.
If you have an expired F-1 visa or J-1 visa and are visiting Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands for fewer than 30 days, you will not need a new visa to return to the U.S. Only a passport (valid 6 months beyond the re-entry date), endorsed I-20/DS-2019, and a current form I-94 (either the paper card received upon entry or a copy of the new electronic I-94 print out from the CBP website) are required. This process is known as automatic visa revalidation. More information is available on the ICE website.
**Special note: This rule does not apply to:
1. Visits to Cuba
2. Nationals of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria
3. Citizens of Mexico or the Caribbean Islands visiting their home country
4. Students who obtained a change of status within the U.S.