Non-USA Passport Holders

International Students

Some students choose a study abroad program to enhance their fluency in another language or to gain an immersive cultural experience in an academic area of interest.  Other students might even “study abroad at home,” where they go to a program located at a university in their home country, which gives them an experience many students are unable to get.  Regardless of where these students go, every study abroad experience brings challenges and opportunities for learning and growth.  As an international student in the U.S., there may be additional details to address when planning to study abroad, and communicating with academic advisors and the Center for Global Education on campus is key to working through the whole process. 

International students have the unique experience of living through various cultural environments during their time in college, and this allows them to have a diverse perspective in which they live through and see these study abroad experiences. This is something not every college student gets to have and it will ultimately benefit these students in the long run as they broaden their perspectives on a global scale.

Before departing, you may want to consider these questions:
  • How do I get my student visa for my specific study abroad program? What resources (Center for Global Education) are available to help me do this?
  • What is the relationship between the host country and my home country currently? Will this complicate my visa situation?
  • What do I need to do to make sure I maintain my F-1 status in the US while abroad?
  • Will I be prepared to discuss with others in the host country about my cultural background? If there are any stereotypes about my home country or the United States, how I can address these respectfully? Who can I reach out to if I ever feel uncomfortable or confused about these situations abroad? 

Permanent resident (green card) students traveling abroad for University study can find it difficult to navigate the ins-and-outs of the Visa/Passport process. This page briefly describes the process for students traveling on programs of one year or shorter. If there is anything that is not clear, the student should contact their local US passport agency and the consulate of the host nation for further clarification.

It is important to make sure that you have the proper documentation to both enter your specific country of travel and return to the US.

USA Re-Entry

For students who hold a green card AND passport from their home country of citizenship (non-US):

  • Need to present both the green card and passport for re-entry to the US
  • Duration of trip must be less than one year. Absences from US are counted cumulatively and may affect your permanent residence eligibility.
  • The fee for the I-131 “application for travel Document” is $360.00. There is also an $85.00 fee if biometrics (finger-printing) is required. 
  • If you do not have a passport from your home country but have the ability to obtain one, you must do so. If you are unable to obtain a passport from your home country (due to political instability, refugee status, etc.), see below.

For students who hold a green card but DO NOT HAVE passport from their home country of citizenship:

  • Need to obtain the I-131 “Application for Travel Document” also known as a reentry permit (more information below)
  • Need to present green card and re-entry permit for re-entry to the US
  • Duration of trip must be less than two years
  • May be subject to “secondary inspection” upon return where student will be taken into a separate room and asked questions

The I-131 “Application for Travel Document”

  • The fee for the I-131 “application for travel Document” is $360.00. There is also an $85.00 fee if biometrics (finger-printing) is required. 
  • Students should rush the service on their I-131, as the estimated wait can range from 4-6 months. To do so, include a note in the application asking to expedite the process due to a learning abroad program (also include the date of departure). Once the application has been submitted, call the National Customer Service Center at 1.800.375.5283 and request to expedite the process via phone as well.

Entry to the Host Country

Entry to a host country for US Permanent Residents is different for each country. Students must call the Consulate General of the host country in which you are studying abroad for more information. See the full list of Foreign Consular Offices in the US. More information and forms can also be found.