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International Student Services

Travel Signatures

What is a Travel Signature?

  • An advisor issues you a signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 after you enter the U.S. to begin your F-1 or J-1 status.
  • The travel signature is on page two of an I-20 or page one of a DS-2019.
  • The signature confirms that you have valid F-1 or J-1 status.
  • You must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 to return to the U.S. after you travel abroad.
  • Each signature is valid for one year. (F-1 students on OPT: the travel signature is valid for six months).
  • The travel signature is required for returning to the U.S. It is not required for leaving the U.S.
  • If your current travel signature will expire before you will return to the U.S., you must request an updated travel signature.

Travel Signature Eligibility

  • Have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 issued by UW Seattle
  • Meet immigration requirements of maintaining a full course of study
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have a current U.S. address and a permanent non-U.S. address active in MyUW
  • New Students: Have completed the required immigration check-in

How to Get a Travel Signature

Students may request Electronic Travel Signatures through MyISSS. ISS will send a confirmation email notifying you that your travel signature has been processed.

Log into MyISSS

Emergency Travel

If you have an emergency travel need when the ISS is closed (weekends and federal holidays), go ahead and depart the U.S.

The travel signature is required to return to the U.S. It is not required to depart the U.S.

What if I do not have enough time to receive a new I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature before returning to the U.S.?

Planning ahead is always key. If you did not receive a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 before traveling, please request Form I-515A at the immigration port of entry. It is most likely the Customs and Border Protection officer at the U.S. Port of Entry will issue you an I-515 form. This form would allow you temporary admission to the U.S. for 30 days. If admitted to the U.S. with Form I-515A, If you have questions or concerns, submit them through the Contact ISS form immediately after you return to Seattle. We will send you an appointment booking link.

CAUTION: Temporary admission with an I-515 is at the discretion of the CBP officer and cannot be guaranteed by ISS. On rare occasions you may be denied entry to the U.S., and you should be aware of this risk before travelling.