Travel and Re-Entry for F-1 and J-1 Students

For New Transfer Students interested in travel information, please see the Travel and Transfer webpage.

When traveling, remember to carry the following documents for your re-entry to the U.S.:

  • Passport, valid for at least 6 months.
  • Visa stamp, valid at the time of re-entry (unless exempt, e.g. Canadian citizens).
  • Evidence of financial support.
  • Form I-20, signed by student on page 1 and endorsed by an ISO advisor on page 2 within the last 12-months, or newly issued I-20 OR Form DS-2019, signed on page 1 and endorsed by an ISO advisor on page 1 within the last 12-months.
  • Official GW transcript (or letter of enrollment from the Registrar’s office if transcript is unavailable because this is your first semester of study at GW).
  • GWorld card.

Additionally, F-1 students should be be prepared to provide documentation of your intent to return abroad on authorized OPT period If traveling while on approved OPT, please also bring:

  • Valid EAD card.
  • Evidence of employment.
  • Your I-20 will need to have a travel signature that is less than 6-months old in order to re-enter the U.S. while on OPT. 

For further guidance, please view the OPT Guidelines.

Re-entry during the 60-grace period for F-1 students is not permitted. Re-entry during the 30-day grace period for J-1 students is not permitted.

If you do not intend to return to the U.S. to resume study in the next semester, you must notify an ISO advisor immediately.

If you will be applying for a visa while outside the U.S. be sure to bring all documents listed above. In addition, you should also check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying to find out which additional items are required.

For information on the Automation of Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Form, please see the ISO website on automation of I-94 page.


Instructions to create a pre-paid FedEx Waybill

In order for the ISO to send the documents to you by FEDEX, please follow the step-by-step directions below. 

Note: Please submit your FedEx label after you have received an email from notifying you that your documents are ready for pick-up. 

Step One:      Create an account at

After creating an account, log in to your account and go to Ship->Create Shipment

Step Two:  In the “From Address” field enter George Washington University- ISO 800 21st Street NW, Suite 505, Washington, DC 20052

In the “To Address” field enter you address overseas. Please remember to double check your address; if the wrong address is entered your I-20 will not reach you!

In the Package and Shipment Details section:

a.       Choose service type

b.      Package type: FedEx envelope

c.       No. of packages: 1

d.      Weight: 0.2lbs

e.      Declared value: 0

f.       Ship date:  Today's date*

* Please do not submit your FedEx label to the ISO until you have received an email from notifying you that your request or documents are ready for pick-up. 

Step Three:  The FedEx bill must be to your billing account or the package cannot be sent

Billing Details-> Your FEDEX account

2.            Pick up/Drop-off (optional)->Edit-> Choose: “Drop off package at a FedEx location”

3.            Complete your Shipment

Create a Shipment Profile->Click: Ship

4.            Click: Print and Save the label as a PDF document.

Attach to the pdf bill to your I-20 request before you leave OR e-mail it to the ISO at with your complete name and GWID ID number

Step Four: Once your travel request is completed and your pre-paid waybill received your documents will be mailed out to you