In general, as a nonimmigrant returning to the United States, you will need to have a valid passport, an unexpired visa stamp in your passport, and the appropriate visa eligibility document. If you plan to travel outside the United States, you should contact the International Scholars Office at least 30 days before you travel. We will need to check the validity of your passport, your visa stamp, and your most current visa eligibility document (e.g. Form DS-2019). At that time we can make sure that you have all the necessary documents and signatures to travel.
Some scholars may need to renew their visas before returning to the United States.
Your previous visa stamp may still be valid for an additional entry to the United States. If it has expired, or if your immigration status has been changed since your arrival in the United States, you must go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country that you are visiting to apply for a new visa stamp. To apply for an entry visa stamp, you must have a valid passport the appropriate visa eligibility document and meet any fee, photograph and other requirements. For specifics, consult the State Department's website before traveling.
Visa issuance takes time, and appointments must typically be made well in advance. Certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the world are taking several weeks (sometimes several months) to process nonimmigrant visa requests. Consult the website above and/or contact the nonimmigrant visa section of the particular Embassy or Consulate in advance to inquire about special requirements. There are sometimes difficulties for individuals applying for a visa in a country other than their country of citizenship or legal permanent residence. Please note: Visa stamps cannot be issued in the United States.
Preparing for travel
In addition to contacting the International Scholars Office, read the latest Travel Advisory, including very important information about visa delays and Department of State security clearances.
Travel by spouses and children
If your spouse and/or children will travel and re-enter the United States without you, please contact the International Scholars Office at least 30 days before they intend to leave the United States, so that we can advise you about their travel.
We hope you have a pleasant trip outside the United States!
Page updated May 2023