Traveling Outside the U.S.

Below are some basic guidelines you should know about when planning to travel outside the U.S.  However, it is recommended that you check with your OISS adviser before you travel if you have any questions about your situation.


All international students, scholars and family members planning to depart from the U.S. and return after a temporary absence must have a valid passport in order to exit the U.S. The passport must also be valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of re-entry to the U.S. There are a few exceptions to this passport rule outlined by the State Department here.

Visa Stamps

Except for Canadian citizens, all international students, scholars and family members will also need to have a valid U.S. visa stamp in their passport issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate. Visa stamps cannot be obtained or renewed inside the U.S. You can watch an overview of the on-line application process called DS-160.

Visa Documents

With Yale visa sponsorship, there is always a visa document (Form I-20, DS-2019, I-797, etc…) produced by or obtained from OISS. Click on your visa type below to learn about your particular visa document.

F-1 Students

J-1 Exchange Visitors

H-1B Workers

I-94 Record

Every non-immigrant entering the U.S. on a sponsored visa will have what's called an I-94 record created by the authorities upon entry. It is the responsibility of international students, scholars and family members to look up their I-94 record after entering the U.S. to ensure there are no errors.  A copy of the I-94 will needed to prove employment eligibility.

Transit Visas

If your travel plans require a change of planes in a third country, you must check to see if you need a transit visa.  Some countries (including the U.S.) required an entry or transit visa,  even if you are only changing planes and resuming your travels during a short time frame.  Before purchasing your ticket, make certain you are aware of any travel requirements or restrictions.

Third Country Visits

When planning to visit a country outside the U.S. which is not your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence, be sure to determine whether or not you will need a visa to enter that country

Canada, Mexico and Contiguous Islands

If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or the contiguous islands for less than 30 days you may be eligible for a visa renewal exemption.

Travel to Cuba

The U.S.still has an economic embargo against Cuba which includes certain types of travel. The embargo affects people currently living in the U.S. including international students and scholars. Please read the Yale International Toolkit about travel to Cuba before planning your trip.

Resources for Yale Affiliates traveling outside the U.S.

Emergency Travel Assistance 
Yale maintains a travel database so the University can assist you in the event of an emergency.  Please register your travel when leaving the U.S. for school related or personal travel.  You need your net ID to register.  

All students and employees are covered by ​UHC Global Travel Assistance (formerly known as FrontierMEDEX) for both business and pleasure travel.

Yale and the World Services
An International Toolkit, as well as other resources for Yale affiliates traveling abroad.